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Le Roy Country Club

Rogers: Housing project in the Village of Le Roy hinges on science-based stormwater retention plan

By Mike Pettinella


Cold hard facts about a stormwater retention plan apparently will determine the fate of a Batavia businessman’s proposal to build a 60-unit senior residential complex off East Avenue in the Village of Le Roy.

“I’m looking for scientific information – I don’t want anybody’s opinion – that can tell me that the project is going to have no impact upon groundwater or, actually, will improve the situation that the residents are feeling now, including the (Le Roy) golf course,” said Le Roy Mayor Greg Rogers this morning.

“I still believe there is a need for that type of housing in the community … but the main thing is that the water issue has to be a non-issue.”

Rogers presided over a meeting on Monday night that was attended by about 50 village residents at the Town of Le Roy courtroom. The purpose of the meeting was for the board to conduct the State Environmental Quality Review for the project.

After the first two sections of the long form were completed, the SEQR then was put on hold, Rogers said.

When asked if the water issue was the reason for tabling it, he said “it had more to do with the overall project.”

When asked if the site plan submitted by Eric Biscaro, owner of Armor Building Supply in Batavia, was in jeopardy, Rogers said, “I wouldn’t say that, it’s just that we’re in the information gathering process.”

“I’ve always contended that the stormwater part of it – the stormwater plan -- was the deal breaker on the whole thing. If any of the properties get more stormwater than they’re getting now, that’s a deal breaker. Right now, for me, it’s all about the water.”

If photos provided by LeRoyan Tom Frew are any indication, standing water in yards in the Poplar Lane and Orchard Drive area as well as nearby Mercy Grove and Le Roy Country Club is a major concern that needs to be addressed.

Frew, a Poplar Lane resident, has been outspoken in his opposition to the project, claiming that the 30 duplex patio home rentals on a 20-acre parcel that runs east of East Avenue are not compatible with the neighborhood. He also is against the village spending money to improve East Avenue and is concerned about the increase in traffic.

Biscaro’s plan, estimated to cost around $9 million, also calls for the development and sale of eight single-family home building lots along an extension of that street.

Contacted this morning, Frew said that a heavy rainfall two weeks ago caused a foot and a half to two feet of standing water behind a neighbor’s home near the intersection of Poplar and Orchard (see photo above).

“That that took a few days to flow out through a buried pipe that goes down parallel with Orchard Drive and dumps into a creek which flows over to Mercy Grove and the golf course,’ he said. “The golf course had two holes under water.”

Frew said turbidity is another issue.

“You could only see about six inches down in the two feet of water, and (Mercy Grove and Le Roy Country Club owner) Jim Gomborone said that when the water recedes on the golf course, he has suspended solids all along the lower shore line that came from that water,” he added.

Frew agreed with Rogers that water “seems to be the tiebreaker.”

“He (Biscaro) will have to build a retention pond to hold and contain it, and then slowly release the water,” he said. “That was where the rubber met the road at the meeting last night.”

Rogers said the developer is on board with village officials when it comes to providing necessary and accurate information relating to water runoff.

“His engineer had sent the water remediation plan to CPL (Clark Patterson Lee) for review, but CPL didn’t feel that they had enough information at that point and time,” Roger said. “So, we’re going to do our due diligence among Biscaro, Clark Patterson and the DEC (NYS Department of Environmental Conservation) to get accurate information on the water remediation plan.”

The mayor said the next step is a public hearing at 7 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Memorial Auditorium on Trigon Park in the village. The public hearing originally was to be held at Le Roy High School but the school is not available, Rogers said.

“After that and if all the information is in regarding the water, then we can go back and adopt Section 3 -- if that’s where it leads us,” he said.



Photo at top: Poplar Lane resident Gerry Robinson in standing water behind his home. Photos at bottom: Standing water at Mercy Grove and Le Roy Country Club following a recent steady rainfall. Submitted photos.

Village of Le Roy, family, friends go all out to honor Clerk-Treasurer Sharon Jeary upon her retirement after 44 years

By Mike Pettinella



Village of Le Roy leaders bid farewell to their longtime “go-to person” in grand fashion this afternoon with a surprise gathering of about 75 family, friends, colleagues and civic leaders at the Village Hall, followed by a police-led parade down Main Street to a reception featuring an appearance by Sen. Edward Rath at the Le Roy Country Club restaurant.

Coordinated by Village Mayor Greg Rogers with help from staff and volunteers, the community celebrated the career of Sharon Jeary, who worked for the village for 44 years, including the last 19 as clerk-treasurer.

Jeary, a Le Roy native (maiden name: O’Geen) and Notre Dame High School graduate, walked out of the front door of the office building shortly after noon and was greeted by Rogers, who showed her the Rose of Sharon tree that has been planted in her honor.

As she turned the corner toward the parking lot, that’s where she encountered a long line of well-wishers applauding loudly and ready to show their appreciation. As would be expected, her reaction was one of astonishment.

“I’m absolutely flabbergasted and so humbled by how wonderful everybody is. I love my village,” she said.

Jeary’s first day on the job – as an office assistant – was Nov. 28, 1977. She advanced to full time two years later and became the clerk-treasurer in 2002, following a 15-year stint as deputy village clerk.

After Jeary accepted hugs from everyone, the Rev. Jack Hempfling of Living Waters Church led a group prayer of blessing. Then everybody got into their cars and followed Police Chief Greg Kellogg's vehicle, other patrol cars, and fire department and emergency vehicles – with sirens and lights engaged -- to Le Roy Country Club for part two of the tribute.

It was there that Rath, representing the 61st Senate District, congratulated Jeary and presented her with a proclamation from the New York State Senate.

“In 1977, a gallon of gas was 62 cents and a gallon of milk was 13 cents,” Rath said. “So, ladies and gentlemen, a lot has changed since 1977 -- but not the commitment and the resolve and the hard work that Sharon Jeary had for the people of this wonderful community.”

Rath, reading from the proclamation, said that Jeary “rendered faithful and conscientious and valuable service to the community.”

“During her tenure as clerk-treasurer, Sharon earned the esteem and affection of her colleagues. She has demonstrated outstanding service and leadership in her beloved community. Throughout the years, she has had the love and support of her husband, David, and her two children, David and Mark.”

Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, a Le Roy resident, said Jeary made quite an impact “as evidenced today here by your friends, your family and your coworkers who have come to understand your commitment, your conscientious care of every single member of the boards that you’ve served, and more importantly, your community.”

She then presented Jeary with proclamations from Assemblyman Steven Hawley and the count legislature.

Then, jokingly, she added: “We will miss the work that you do, lovingly, on behalf of all of us, and wish you the absolute best in your retirement – and don’t stay home every day with David.”

Village Historian Lynne Belluscio used the occasion to have some fun with Jeary, bringing gifts from Historic Le Roy House, home of the Jell-O Gallery and Museum Shop.

After extending an invitation for Jeary to volunteer at the gallery – teaching visitors how to correctly pronounce Le Roy (leh-roy), she gave her boxes of the four original Jell-O flavors (strawberry, orange, lemon and raspberry), a T-shirt, license plate holders proclaiming, “Le Roy, NY – Birthplace of Jell-O” and two lemonade cans attached by a string.

“It’s always, 'call Sharon,' ” Belluscio said. “You got a question? 'Call Sharon.' 'I need a permit.' 'Call Sharon.' 'She’s at lunch; when can I get a hold of her?' 'Call Sharon.' So, I’m kind of concerned that you’re not up there … So, you and I are going to stay in contact …”

LeRoyan Kay “Pudge” Steen, clerk-treasurer prior to Jeary taking that position, related that in Jeary “I not only had a coworker, I had one of the best friends I have ever had.”

“I wish you nothing but lots of happiness and good health, and I love you.”

Rogers then presented Jeary with the “Key to the Village” plaque, and afforded the guest of honor a chance to address her fans before inviting everyone to the privately funded hors d’oeuvres and refreshments under a big tent.

“I couldn’t have done my job without the support of my family and my friends. Everybody was always there for me and I really appreciate it,” she said. "We have a wonderful village. I love my village; I truly do. Thank you all so much for coming.”

“To my mayors and boards of trustees, you we’re all great and I enjoyed working with them all. It never seemed like a job to me. I always enjoyed what I did. It has been great over these years.”





Photos at top: Sharon Jeary and Greg Rogers standing next to the Rose of Sharon tree that was planted in her honor; a sign at Le Roy Country Club restaurant recognizing Jeary's career. Photos at bottom: Rev. Jack Hempfling offering a prayer of blessing upon Jeary's retirement; Police Chief Greg Kellogg leads the parade to the golf course restaurant; Sen. Edward Rath presents a proclamation to the longtime village clerk-treasurer; Jeary holds the "Key to the Village" as Rogers looks on. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Proposed senior housing development in the East Avenue area of the Village of Le Roy draws opposition

By Mike Pettinella


As a member of the Town/Village of Le Roy Planning Board, Tom Frew supports the development of new housing throughout the municipality – as long as he sees the project as a good fit with the surrounding neighborhood.

When looking at a venture proposed by Batavia developer Eric Biscaro to construct 30 duplex patio home rentals for seniors on a 20-acre parcel east of East Avenue in the village, however, Frew said that he has some concerns.

“I am not against development back there, as long as they were a continuation of residences like the rest of this neighborhood,” Frew said on Saturday as he took this reporter on a tour of the area. Frew’s home on Poplar Lane is located about 500 feet north of the development site.

Frew said that others living on Poplar Lane, East Avenue and Orchard Drive agree with him, prompting him to distribute a flyer to all residents of those streets to attend a public hearing on the matter at 7 p.m. May 19 at the Village of Le Roy Hall at 3 W. Main St.

Biscaro recently said that the project would be larger than his Clinton Crossings Adult Community on Clinton Street in the Town of Batavia. The Le Roy plan also includes blocking out eight building lots along the west perimeter of the site to be made available for purchase.

In order to make this happen, the area would have to be rezoned from Residential to Planned Unit Development, action that already has been recommended for approval (with modifications) by the Genesee County Planning Board.

Frew believes that a senior housing complex near an upper-end residential neighborhood is comparing apples to oranges.

“The south end of East Avenue intersects with Poplar Lane, and then Poplar Lane intersects with Orchard Drive, and the homes on these streets are valued in the $150,000 to $250,000 range – they’re all in the same ballpark,” Frew said. “So, now we’re taking property that is zoned Residential and asking to zone it as a PUD.

“If somebody was coming in here and wanted to put a development in – let’s say 15 houses of a couple hundred thousand dollars each, I wouldn’t have an issue. But I have an issue with the effect could be on the value of my home and the additional traffic. There’s only one outlet now, although I know that the county said they’d like to see the development of South Avenue.”

Frew, who said he was the lone dissenter at a recent planning board meeting, advised that South Avenue would be a new street that would run to South Street.

“Their plan is, and this is from the mayor (Greg Rogers) himself, is for the time being, they will gravel it and put a chain link fence up, which the emergency services people will have a key to,” Frew said.

The Batavian reached out to Rogers and Biscaro for comment.

Frew also said he is uneasy about the additional traffic created by the development – predicting an increase of 70 to 100 more vehicles “in a quiet, residential area” with the only access to Route 5 via East Avenue.

He also said he believes the village is endorsing the project and is committed to installing the necessary infrastructure.

“There is 800 feet of new road, new storm sewers, new sanitary sewers, new water, new gas, all those utilities,” Frew said. “The village is committed to run down the length of East Avenue to give Eric access – and Eric will take care of backing his development – but Eric has got no skin in the game regarding the cost.”

Frew estimates the cost of those utilities plus curbing would be around $700,000.

“I’m looking at 30 buildings at let’s say $200,000 each,” he said. “They’re not fancy. The revenue that they would generate from those buildings versus the cost of that infrastructure will blow your mind. It would be an eigh-t to 10-year payback to get even, and I don’t see that as a good investment of my tax dollars.”

Contacted this morning, Le Roy entrepreneur Jim Gomborone said his “main concern” is the potential for flooding on his Mercy Grove and Le Roy Country Club properties along East Main Street from a stream that flows through the area.

“When they had a four-acre school up there, I got extremely flooded. We couldn’t handle three inches of rain. So, you saw the impact with just four acres,” he said. “Twenty acres, with roads and houses and all that other stuff, probably 70 percent of it will be buildings and roads. I’ve got a strong suspicion that I’m not going to be able to handle the water from it.”

Gomborone also said the village’s decision to fund the infrastructure is a disservice to taxpayers.

“Why are we spending village taxpayers’ money for a guy that who’s in business for himself, running rental units? He’s going to have 60 rental units back there,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, there’s going to be a substantial amount of rent from that thing, and I don’t think the taxpayers should pay someone in private enterprise for infrastructure. I wouldn’t ask them to pave my driveway.”

Previous: Biscaro proposes Clinton Crossings-type adult community for East Avenue in the Village of Le Roy.


Photo at top: Poplar Lane resident Tom Frew holds site plan as he stands on the north end of a 20-acre parcel proposed for a senior housing project off East Avenue in the Village of Le Roy. Photo at bottom: The end of East Avenue that would be expanded and paved to create a new street to connect to South Street. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Of course, the course of the course changes after big storm hits Le Roy CC

By Howard B. Owens


It it rains, it floods at the Le Roy Country Club, at least when it rains like it has recently. 

A creek that cuts through the lush green fairways on the front 9 often overflows with an abundance of water, and according to course pro Robbie Sinclair, the "lake effect" is often teeming with wildlife after a big storm. I tried to make it out today while several herons were at the pond, but only came across this duck hen and her ducklings.

All 18 holes remain open for golf, though the normally par 4 second is reduced to a par 3, with a tee shot over a lovely water hazard.



Event at Le Roy Country Club raises funds for Andrea Mangefrida Memorial Fund

By Howard B. Owens

Info and photos submitted by Phil Mangefrida.

We had beautiful weather for the debut of the Andrea Mangefrida Memorial Basket Raffle.

We had 140 people show up for golf and dinner or just dinner, with 21 foursomes, not to mention people who just walked in, bought raffle tickets and left. Here are some pictures.

The dancers are from Clann Na Cara School of Irish Dance in Buffalo.

They are, from left: Kelly Patterson, Monica Panzer, Molly Mangefrida, Xavier Patrick Dzielski, and Sarah Ziarniak

The SkyDivers are from Western, NY Skydivers.

Money raised from this event went to the Andrea Mangefrida Memorial Fund at Stepping Stones Learning Center in Irondequoit.

A big thank you to everyone who donated their time, effort, and baskets for this event.


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