The post-Jason Molino era for the City of Batavia gets under way tonight with City Council taking on a packed agenda that includes four budget resolutions requiring public hearings, the Redfield Parkway pillars, Healthy Schools sidewalk project, Habitat for Humanity’s proposal to build a home in the flood zone, leasing City Centre Mall space to Batavia Players and a Dwyer Stadium sub-lease with the New York-Penn League to operate the Batavia Muckdogs baseball team.
The Council’s Conference meeting, which is expected to be followed by a special business meeting to address the Dwyer Stadium issue, is scheduled for 7 o’clock at the City Centre Council Board Room.
Summaries of the planned discussions are as follows:
Budget resolutions with public hearings
Interim City Manager Matthew Worth is introducing resolutions that deal with the proposed budget ordinance, water rate changes, Business Improvement District plan and City Centre concourse user fee local law amendments. His proposal requests that these topics be acted upon at the Feb. 12 Business Meeting, with public hearings set for Feb. 26.
The 2018-19 budget calls for $5,249,947 to be raised by taxes, with previous reports indicating that the tax rate is expected to decrease by 3 percent – to $8.99 per $1,000 of assessed value. Total expenditures are $24.3 million (an increase of 1.9 percent).
Water rates will go up by 3.5 percent, with slightly higher increases in meter and capital improvement fees. There is no increase proposed for the sewer rate.
Since the BID plan has not been updated since 2005, the City proposes amendments that include a change in the district assessment charge to properly reflect operations, capital accounting for surplus funds, compliance with Open Meetings Law and Freedom of Information Law, and other budgetary compliance reporting.
The City Centre Concourse user fee proposal sets costs to Mall business owners at $2 per square foot, effective April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2021, and going up to $2.04 in 2021-22 and $2.06 in 2022-23.
Redfield Parkway pillars
City officials reached out to In Site: Architecture LLP, of Perry, to address the deteriorating condition of the pillars at the north entrance of Redfield Parkway.
The firm came back with a proposal to investigate the existing conditions, conduct design work as required related to lighting, preparation of bid documents, construction specifications, bidding coordination and construction administration at a cost of $4,860.
Council will be asked to appropriate the funds, contingent upon receiving a construction cost estimate prior to bidding the project.
Healthy Schools sidewalk project
Worth is reporting that Roman Construction Development Corp. of North Tonawanda has offered the low bid of $721,566 to complete construction of 12,300 linear feet of sideway in the City as part of the Healthy Schools Corridor Project.
Seventy-five percent of the project cost will be paid by the Federal Highway Administration and 25 percent will be paid from City sidewalk reserves and Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), Worth said.
Habitat for Humanity’s proposal
Habitat for Humanity is looking to renovate and restore a home at 116 Swan St., property that was transferred by the City to the organization. However, this is the first property to be transferred that is in the 100-year flood zone, resulting in additional costs.
According to Lauren Casey, Habitat for Humanity executive director, the cost to demolish the existing structure and build a new home is $104,000, including $17,395 for engineering and architectural costs to design a flood-compliant home.
In a memo from Molino dated Jan. 11 (the day before his last day on the job), Council will be asked to cover the $17,395, utilizing some of the $48,000 remaining from the former Vibrant Batavia initiative. Molino said that the engineering/architectural information could be used for future new builds in the City.
Batavia Players lease
A lease agreement with Batavia Players Inc. to utilize three City Centre parcels for their productions calls for monthly rent charges of $747.92 for months one through six ($1 per square foot), $1,223.86 for months seven through 12 ($3 per square foot), and $2,991.66 for months 13 through 60 ($4 per square foot).
In a memo, Worth writes that relocation of the theater to the downtown area has been identified in the City’s 2012 Community Improvement Plan and 2017 Comprehensive Plan, and is under consideration in the City’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative application.
The lease agreement gives the City the right to terminate it upon 180 days’ notice and allows the City to sell the property as it sees fit.
Sublease of Dwyer Stadium to NY-P
With the Rochester Community Baseball organization (Rochester Red Wings) out of the picture, the New York-Penn League has assumed ownership of the Batavia Muckdogs.
According to Worth, the NY-P is agreeable to operating the team at Dwyer Stadium under the terms and conditions of the previous sublease to the Batavia Regional Recreation Corporation and Genesee County Baseball Club Inc. and declaration to the Rochester Community Baseball for the coming season.
Worth, in a memo dated Jan. 19, said that the league has been made aware of the proposed budget and funds that may be available for improvements and “have an understanding of these limitations.”