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September 19, 2020 - 8:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is releasing the following statement following the news of the passing of Justice Ginsburg.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was a force on the Supreme Court, never compromising her values, and impacting our nation for decades to come. She served our nation with integrity, was a role model for many, and raised the standard for debate and discourse. As the second woman to ever be nominated to the Supreme Court she broke barriers and all Americans, regardless of ideology, should recognize her incredible achievement and mourn her loss. My deepest condolences and prayers are with her family,” -Congressman Chris Jacobs.

September 19, 2020 - 8:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

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Submitted by JoAnne Meiser.

September 18, 2020 - 7:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oatka Creek, news, Le Roy.

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Photos taken this evening in Le Roy.

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September 18, 2020 - 7:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in American Legion Botts-Fiorito Post #576, Le Roy, news, veterans.

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The Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post #576 this evening honored those who were captured and never returned or lost in war as part of POW/MIA Recognition Day with an empty chair ceremony at their post in Le Roy.

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September 18, 2020 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, covid-19, coronavirus, news, NY-27.

Press release:

 Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is releasing the following statement after the announcement Thursday evening that an additional $14 billion would be committed to the Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Rep. Jacobs is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture.

“I applaud the President for his continued commitment to our nation’s farmers. With this additional $14 billion in coronavirus aid, farmers will be better equipped to weather the effects of the coronavirus and to continue to feed American families,” Jacobs said. “While this aid has helped the agriculture industry, more assistance is needed. Regrettably, Senate Democrats blocked legislation last week to provide more funding for farmers, and now Speaker Pelosi is refusing to replenish the Commodity Credit Corporation that funded this additional CFAP aid. Farmers have supported our nation throughout the entirety of this pandemic, now is not the time to be playing partisan games with their livelihoods. I urge Congressional leadership to resume negotiations on a new coronavirus package and to provide the critical assistance our farmers in Western New York and across the country need.”

The $14 billion will support the second version of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2). The program was created to support growers and producers of agricultural commodities. More information and a list of eligible commodities can be found here: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap

September 18, 2020 - 6:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

New Cases – As of 2 p.m. 

  • Genesee County received two new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Byron and Le Roy.
    • Both of the positive individuals are less than 20 years old.
    • The individuals were not on quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Six new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

 

  • Orleans County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • Ten new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
September 18, 2020 - 5:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, east bethany.

Shante M. Griffin, 28, of Fisher Park, Batavia, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. At 12:14 a.m. on Sept. 10, Griffin was arrested for allegedly leaving her two children, both under age 5, alone in an upstairs apartment without any adult supervision. She is due in Batavia City Court at 1 p.m. on Dec. 8 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer John Gombos, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Kimberly R. Garland, 51, of Culver Avenue, Warsaw, is charged with: grand larceny; first-degree criminal contempt; and second-degree harassment. At 12:15 p.m. on Sept. 17, Batavia police responded to the Super 8 motel on Oak Street for a 9-1-1 hang-up call. Further investigation led the patrol to arrest Garland for allegedly striking a female who has an order of protection against her. It is also alleged that Garland stole the female's phone. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Alec Roberts.

Jason Christopher Mann, 44, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Mann was arrested at 9:25 p.m. Sept. 7 after an investigation of multiple disturbances on Hutchins Place in Batavia. He allegedly engaged in "threatening and tumultuous behavior" in the presence of Batavia police and "flicked a cigarette at another person." Mann was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Hall on Nov. 10. The case was investigated by Sgt. Dan Coffey, assisted by Officer Samuel Freeman.

Katherine J. Briggs, 41, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Briggs was arrested at 12:41 a.m. Sept. 13 after an incident at an apartment complex on South Main Street in Batavia. She allegedly threatened a resident with physical harm. She was released on her own recognizance and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Alec Roberts, assisted by Officer Joshua Girvin.

Matthew M. Maniace, 38, of Fargo Road, East Bethany, is charged with second-degree harassment. On Sept. 11, Batavia Police Office Peter Post responded to UMMC where he was issued an appearance ticket to Maniace following an investigation of an incident at 4:14 a.m. on Sept. 9. City police responded to UMMC for a panic alarm and they allegedly found UMMC staff in a physical altercation with Maniace. Police allegedly determined Maniace punched two UMMC staff members. He is due in Batavia City Court on Dec. 1 to answer the charge. Post was assisted by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Matthew M. Maniace, 38, of Fargo Road, East Bethany, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested after an incident at 10:13 a.m. Sept. 10 at UMMC. He was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court and is due there Nov. 10. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Post, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Luis Javier Santiago-Arroyo, 32, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested at 5:18 p.m. on Sept. 10 for allegedly violating an order of protection by standing in front of the residence of the protected party at 12:46 p.m. Sept. 2. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court via Skype and put in jail on $2,000 cash bail, $4,000 bond, or $8,000 partially secured bond with 10-percent down. Santiago-Arroyo is due to return to city court Sept. 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police officers Stephen Cronmiller and Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Adam Tucker.

Trevor Scott Rarick, 25, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with: operating a motor vehicle while having a BAC of .08 percent or more -- first offense; driving while intoxicated -- first offense; and refusal to take a breath test. Rarick was arrested after a complaint that he was passed out behind the wheel of his car while in the McDonald's restaurant drive-thru on East Main Street in Batavia at 2:36 a.m. on Sept. 13. Rarick was processed at Batavia Police Headquarters, and released on appearance tickets returnable to Batavia City Court on Dec. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Jordan McGinnis, Officer Alex Roberts and Sgt. Eric Bolles.

Joseph G. Sumeriski, 28, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with bail jumping. He was arrested at 12:50 a.m. Sept. 13 on a Batavia City Court bench warrant following a traffic stop on West Main Street in Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due to return to city court at a later date (unspecified). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jordan McGinnis, assisted by Officer Wesley Rissinger.

September 18, 2020 - 4:04pm

Submitted photo and press release:

A check for $12,125 was presented Wednesday to Crossroads House, the nonprofit hospice care home in the City of Batavia, proceeds from the 20th Annual Van Hulburt Memorial Golf Tournament.

“2020 has been a particularly challenging year in terms of fundraising as most of our events have been cancelled," said Crossroads House Executive Director Jeff Allen. "The record-setting proceeds from this year’s tournament are so timely and go a long way to fill some of our funding gaps."

Allen, golf tournament volunteers and the Crossroads House Board of Directors were on hand to accept the check from members of the Brethren of Hesperus Masonic Lodge #837 in Bergen.

After the check presentation, lodge members, along with Helen Hulburt and other tournament volunteers, took a tour of Crossroads House to see the impact of their longstanding relationship with the mission of comfort care.

Excerpts from a history of Hesperus Lodge & the Van Hulburt Memorial Golf Tournament

“Twenty years ago, at a meeting of the Brethren of Hesperus Masonic Lodge #837, in Bergen, New York members were discussing a way they could honor the memory of their beloved Brother, Mr. Van Hulburt. A suggestion was made by Brother David Liles that they make a donation to Crossroads House in Batavia, in Van's name.

"Further discussion led to the idea of holding a golf tournament to raise the money and also provide a fun way to honor Van, who loved the game of golf. Brother Marty Krause volunteered to organize the tournament, as he has all 20 years. Helen Hulburt, Van’s wife, enthusiastically endorsed the idea along with her family.

"Brother Ralph Marsocci, the owner of Ralph and Rosie's Restaurants, volunteered to supply the lunches for the golfers which he continues to do each year. The Batavia Country Club has hosted the two-decade event and always provides a great course along with superb food and drink.” 

"...Despite the pandemic this is the largest (single) amount given to date ($12,125) thanks to the many dedicated Brethren, volunteers, sponsors and golfers who keep stepping up to the plate for this wonderful organization."

Over the course of 20 years, the Hesperus Lodge has donated more than $130,000 to Crossroads House through the Van Hulburt Memorial Golf Tournament.

Sixty-seven Sponsors Step Up

This year 67 sponsors, both private and corporate, stepped up including: Gold Sponsors Triple-O Mechanical, Ashley Capital (Paul Rubacha Family) and the Jerry Hulburt family. Silver Sponsors were Bergen C-Store, Ralph and Rosie’s and the Schoonmaker Family.

The other 61 donors come from Bergen, Byron, Stafford, Batavia, Rochester and elsewhere.

"We have been and are proud to help support this wonderful group of volunteers and staff who deliver loving and compassionate care for those who are in the end stages of life,” said Donald Keys, Master of Hesperus Lodge #837.

Photo by row, from left:

  • Bottom row -- Hesperus Lodge members Ralph Marsocci, Ted Catlin, Donald Keys and Dave Liles, Crossroads House Member Dr. Mary Obear, golf tournament volunteer Marilyn Liles, Crossroads House Director Jeff Allen, Van Hulbert's widow Helen Hulburt;
  • First row stairs -- Hesperus Lodge Member Marty Krause, golf tournament volunteer Donna Krause;
  • Second row stairs -- Hesperus Lodge Member Bob Seils, golf tournament volunteer Elaine Keys;
  • Top row -- Crossroads House Board members Charlotte Crawford, Kari Wilford, Kathy Panepento, Steve Johnson, Joanne Patri, Wendy Morse, Tom Finn and Jamie Charters.
September 18, 2020 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Planned Parenthood, news, batavia.

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Dave Twichell carries a sign that reads "Babies Lives Matter" in front of the Planned Parenthood location on West Main Street in Batavia.

Twichell said he has been making frequent protest trips to the location by himself for years.

"I'm out here as much as I can be," Twichell said. "Somebody's got to stick up for those who can't speak for themselves." 

September 18, 2020 - 3:05pm
posted by Press Release in scam, Fraud, crime, news, city of batavia.

From the City of Batavia Police Department:

The City of Batavia has become aware of a scam in which the scammers are using the phone number and name of the City in an attempt to get victims to provide personal banking information. The caller ID comes across as “City of Batavia” with the phone number (585) 343-8182. The scammer is telling victims they have overcharged on a utility bill and want information to reimburse the money.

The City of Batavia will not request personal banking information over the phone. The City only provides refunds or payments to citizens and vendors in the form of a check.

Follows these tips from the Federal Trade Commission to help avoid fraud:

1.    Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government officiala family membera charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.  

2.    Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

3.    Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.

4.    Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.

September 18, 2020 - 2:55pm
posted by Press Release in RSVP Volunteer Placement Program, news, covid-19, 9/11.

Submitted photo and press release:

Recently members of Genesee County’s RSVP Volunteer Placement Program delivered hundreds of nonperishable and personal care items to local food pantries. Local agencies report these donations are greatly needed due to increased demand during COVID-19. 

This service project was chosen as a way to honor 9/11 victims and those who rose in service in response to 9/11.

As so many did on 9/11, numerous individuals and organizations are helping others who are struggling during this pandemic.

RSVP wishes to thank all the volunteers, community members and local businesses for their generosity, which made this delivery possible.  

For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact Courtney Iburi (RSVP) at (585) 343-1611.

September 18, 2020 - 2:29pm
posted by Press Release in NYS Department of Labor, news, unemployment, FEMA.

Press release:

The New York State Department of Labor today announced that New York has paid nearly $1.9 billion in Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) benefits to 2.26 million New Yorkers this week, representing retroactive payments of $300 for the weeks ending Aug. 2nd, 9th and 16th.

In total, New York State has now paid $44.5 billion in benefits to New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic — representing more than 21 typical years’ worth of benefits paid in just six months. 

In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved New York for the second and final round of LWA funding. This round of funding provides three additional weeks of Lost Wages Assistance benefits, paid retroactively for the weeks ending Aug. 23rd, Aug. 30th, and Sept. 6th. New Yorkers will begin to receive these payments next week.  

“Over the last six months, we have moved heaven and earth to connect millions of New Yorkers with their benefits, including nearly $1.9 billion in Lost Wages Assistance payments distributed just this week,” said State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “While plagued with administrative roadblocks, the federal lost wages assistance program is now finally providing unemployed families with much needed support — and it is unconscionable for the Federal government to once again cut Americans off from this support.

"Leaders in Washington, D.C., must pass a comprehensive package that supports unemployed families and the state and local governments that are hurting from this pandemic. Anything less is simply unacceptable.” 

An estimated 2.3 million New Yorkers are eligible for the second round of LWA payments for the benefit weeks ending Aug. 23rd, Aug. 30th, and Sept. 6th. They include: 

  • Approximately 2.1 million who are prequalified for the LWA program because they have previously indicated that their unemployment was connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. These New Yorkers will receive an email and text message informing them they are pre-qualified and do not need to take any further action.
     
  • Approximately 157,000 who are eligible for one or more LWA payments for the weeks ending Aug. 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th, and/or Sept. 6th but have not submitted a certification indicating they are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as required by the federal government. These New Yorkers have already received a secure DocuSign email from NYS DOL with a link to certify or can call 833-491-0632 to certify via automated phone system.
  • Approximately 23,700 who are eligible for one or more LWA payments for the weeks ending Aug. 23rd, Aug. 30th or Sept. 6th but were not eligible for the earlier weeks’ payments because they were not unemployed during the first three weeks of August. These New Yorkers will receive a secure DocuSign email from NYS DOL on Sept. 18th with a link to certify or can call 833-491-0632 to certify via automated phone system. 

New Yorkers who are prequalified for the second round of LWA benefits or who must certify and submit their certification by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22nd, will receive their payments next week. Those who submit their certification at a later date will be paid on a rolling basis.

September 18, 2020 - 1:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, weather.

A frost advisory and hazardous weather outlook have been issued starting at midnight through at least 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, according to the National Weather Service office in Buffalo.

Temperatures in the lower 30s will result in frost formation. Frost could kill sensitive vegetation if left uncovered; take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold, advises the Weather Service.

Frost is possible again late tomorrow night and could extend through Thursday (Sept. 24) for portions of Western, including Genesee County, and North Central New York.

September 18, 2020 - 12:37pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia City Council, The Novak Consulting Group.

A special executive session of the Batavia City Council has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Board Room on the second floor of the City Centre.

A media release from the city manager’s office indicates the session relates to employment matters.

It is believed the meeting will focus on the vacant city manager position, currently being filled by Rachael Tabelski, who was hired as assistant city manager in August 2019.

Previously, The Batavian reported that Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said the board is “gathering more information” and expects to decide on how it will proceed by its next meeting on Sept. 28.

Most likely, Council will interview with Tabelski (possibly on Tuesday) and offer her the job, or conduct a nationwide search – utilizing The Novak Consulting Group, the Cincinnati, Ohio-based firm that was used in the search that resulted in the hiring of former City Manager Martin Moore in 2018.

September 18, 2020 - 11:09am

The Batavia City Council passed four resolutions this week to accept just shy of $75,000 in grants for the City of Batavia Fire Department, continuing what Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano describes as placing a priority on maximizing taxpayer dollars, meeting community needs and operating as efficiently as possible.

“Absolutely,” Napolitano said this morning to a question as to whether there is a concerted effort to find grants.

“We work together as a team to secure grants and accept gifts and donations. Our goal is to stretch that one dollar of taxpayer money into a dollar fifty or two dollars – to be fiscally responsible.”

During Napolitano’s three-and-a-half-year tenure as chief, more than $400,000 in grant funding has found its way to the fire department.

He said these grants – ranging from Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance to New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee funding to the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – are especially vital in the wake of budget cuts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All departments in the city have had to make cuts and, of course, any cuts in a budget can affect your operational readiness,” he said. “These grants, even as little as $800 for bicycle helmets, enable us to support young children and families that don’t have adequate bike helmets or have helmets at all. Then we work with local suppliers to try and stretch that $800 into $1,000 worth of equipment.”

An $800 grant for bicycle helmets from the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee was one of the four accepted at Monday night’s City Council meeting. The others were as follows:

  • A grant for $68,880.95 from FEMA for the purchase of a fire and carbon monoxide alarm system and sprinkler fire protection system throughout fire headquarters on Evans Street and to fund specialize water rescue training materials and labor costs;
  • A grant for $1,638 from FM Global for the purchase of a high-tech camera, lens, lighting and security case for use at fire scenes as well as an iPad for the command vehicle for rapid uploading and sharing of photos with other investigative agencies;
  • A grant for $3,500 from the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to purchase car seats.

“We get the car seat grant every year, but our firefighters have to recertify regularly to be certified safety seat technicians,” Napolitano said. “This grant is so helpful. You would be amazed how many people that don’t have means to get them.”

While he oversees the grant applications and submissions, Napolitano said that “every grant that we have received is a team effort.”

“In many cases, I delegate to individuals who specialize in the area of a specific grant,” he explained. “We wouldn’t be getting these grants without so many firefighters and officers doing the legwork.”

Napolitano announced that Christopher Shea is the department’s most recent hire, raising the staff’s numbers to 32 firefighters (two short of a full complement) plus the chief and administrative clerk.

Shea currently is classified as a recruit firefighter candidate and, after 14 weeks of training, will be promoted to probationary firefighter for the next 18 months.

The chief praised his firefighters, who belong to IAAF (International Association of Fire Fighters) Local 896, for their civic and community involvement.

“They support numerous organizations not only with their money but with their (volunteer) time as well,” he said.

In other action, Council:

  • Authorized the issuance of $420,000 in serial bonds to purchase a jet-vacuum truck for use in sanitary sewer, water system, storm sewer system and highway maintenance operations. The amount includes the purchase price of the vehicle ($380,000) plus the costs of the issuance as permitted by law.
  • Approved the acceptance of a $9,024 police traffic safety grant from the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. About 20 percent of the funding is earmarked for seat belt enforcement with the remainder to support efforts to reduce speeding, aggressive and distracted driving and other dangerous driving behaviors.
September 17, 2020 - 10:19pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia Town Board, Gregory Post, genesee county.

Town of Batavia board members are facing a potential $1 million budget shortfall as they work to develop a spending plan for fiscal year 2021 that begins in January.

“Genesee County has allocated $8 million for revenue sharing next year, of which the Town of Batavia would get $1.3 million. That’s a million dollars less than what we budgeted to receive from the county in 2020,” said Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post after Wednesday’s board meeting at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road. “We have to make that up by reducing the budget and increasing other revenue streams.”

To make matters worse, Post said the town has received about $1.1 million from the county thus far in 2020 and, despite two more scheduled distributions, likely won’t hit the budgeted amount of $2.3 million.

“We really don’t know what the numbers will be,” he said. “It certainly doesn’t help that (Six Flags) Darien Lake has been closed all summer and we won’t see that sales tax.”

In short, the board has some hard choices to make – cut expenditures (a process that already has begun), use some of the unrestricted fund balance and/or raise property taxes.

Post said a substantial tax rate increase from the current $2.42 per thousand of assessed valuation is a distinct possibility.

“We would have to double the tax rate to raise the million dollars we need to close that gap,” he said, adding that the board does not want to go that route. 

State Aid, Other Revenue is Down

The supervisor said the town has limited options on the revenue side.

“State aid already's been reduced by 20 percent – we’re not looking for that – plus we got a smaller percentage of VLT (video lottery terminal) money, we didn’t get any fine money for six months from the courts, and I don’t expect that to surge,” he said. “And building permit fees are likely going to be reduced this year because we haven’t had any significant commercial and industrial expansions and developments, and the local homeowner building permit fees generally don’t make a big difference.”

Post said mortgage taxes seems to be “on the uptick, but revenue from the sale of obsolete equipment is off the table – we haven’t been able to disperse any of that because we have to keep everyone employed in a separate vehicle due to COVID-19 and potential for contagion.”

He said the board has reviewed all revenue streams, and now is looking at putting some of its unexpected fund balance into the 2021 budget.

“I don’t think we have a choice,” he said. “This year (2020) our fund balance was budgeted at one million dollars. We’re working very hard to reduce this year’s expenditures – our target is to reduce that by $700,000, and save that $700,000 of fund balance to spread over the next couple years to buffer an inevitable property tax increase because I don’t see New York State politicking their way out of bankruptcy.”

Albany's Way or the Highway?

A fierce critic of the state’s progressive policies, Post took Albany to task for what he says is taking money from essential areas and blindly reallocating it.

“The fact that they have taken money out of highway funds, which are paid for strictly by gasoline and diesel fuel taxes, and distributed it to things that are serving people that don’t drive cars and buy gasoline, is an example of something that is destined to fail,” he said.

He bemoaned the fact that the federal government hasn’t raised the gasoline tax in 20 years despite cars now “getting 40 miles per gallon instead of 10 miles per gallon.”

“So, revenues per vehicle have been reduced by 75 percent,” he said. “We’ve increased the number of vehicles but it’s not enough to offset the ever-increasing costs of highway maintenance.”

Post said the town’s budget “will be adjusted to the maximum degree that we can reduce but we’ve ‘leaned’ this community out 10 years ago.”

“Our highway superintendent’s salary was reduced from $58,000 to $15,000 10 years ago. We’ve got a number of people working two or three different positions and sharing jobs, so that there’s no real person here that’s not essential. Our engineering department is averaging between 25 and 75 percent reimbursement on the projects they bring in, and that doesn’t count the value of the projects they are delivering to our community,” he offered.

Town's Growth is Impressive

He said he’s proud to see 30-percent growth in the assessed value of the town over the past decade, adding that average income has gone up by a like amount during that span.

“And property values continue to escalate, and houses continue to sell for more than they’re assessed for – more than their asking price. It’s like nothing any of us have ever experienced,” he said. “There wasn’t a revaluation done last year because our apprehension was that COVID was depressing the economy to the point where real estate would tank, and we would have an increased assessment on this year’s budget and then next year we would have to drastically reduce the assessment – but exactly the opposite happened.”

Post said the town assessor will be conducting a revaluation this winter, but those new assessments won’t take effect until 2022.

“The State of New York is saying ‘these are the numbers that we’re seeing, and these are what you’re going to have to get in order to get the state aid,’ ” he said.

Not knowing accurate revenue figures at this time makes it hard to gauge how much of the town’s fund balance should be appropriated to the 2021 budget, Post said.

“How much should we judiciously use of the unexpended fund balance to offset this disaster that came from Albany, and do we adjust the property tax rate so that we don’t spend down our buffer funds, because I don’t see the end of New York State’s interference in local government distribution,” he explained. “I don’t see the state coming up next year and saying, ‘OK, we’re going to refund everybody to their full amount.’ I don’t see that happening, so we need to guard the cash that we have very carefully.”

Public Hearing Set for Oct. 21

Along those lines, the town board passed a resolution to set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Oct. 21 for a local law to override the state’s limit on the amount of real property taxes that may be levied by the town for the fiscal year 2021, which is based on the calendar year.

“How can that person in Albany tell me that I have to cap my revenue stream when they’re cutting us by up to 35 percent?” he asked.

A special meeting has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Sept. 30 to distribute the tentative 2021 budget.

Post is calling on more residents of the town to participate in the process or at least educate themselves on how the process works.

“Ultimately, the people in the community are going to have to assist our town board and contribute their thoughts and their ideas, and be more informed. We have very little participation in our community until there’s a controversy,” he said. “When we don’t get any participation or nobody asking questions, we’re obligated to figure it out on our own. I would be happy to educate anybody that may be interested in knowing how this process comes about.”

Census Deadline is Sept. 30

Post encouraged citizens to make sure they fill out their census form as it determines representation and funding levels as follows:

  • Determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives;
  • Defines congressional and state legislative districts, school districts and voting precincts;
  • Determines the annual allocation of $675 billion in federal funding for Medicaid, SNAP, highway planning, Section 8 housing grants, special education grants, national school lunch program, Head Start and other social programs;
  • Provides insight to governments, business and community planning groups.

The deadline to complete and submit census forms is Sept. 30.

September 17, 2020 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael caputo, Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 27th District praised the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement that Western New York native, conspiracy theorist, fear monger, and embattled HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo would step aside from his role at HHS on a 60-day leave that extends through the Nov. 3rd election. The Department also advised that Caputo’s aide, Paul Alexander, will leave his post at HHS permanently. 

“I said it in April 2020 and I’ll say it again now: the President was beyond reckless to install Michael Caputo — who, by his own admission, has absolutely no scientific training or expertise — as ‘spokesman’ for HHS in the middle of a public health crisis in the first place,” McMurray said. “I wish Caputo well in recovering his faculties over the coming weeks, but this turn of events comes as no surprise. 

“Caputo has been a ‘yes’ man for Donald Trump since 2014 when he spearheaded a smear campaign to muscle out other bidders in Trump’s failed attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills. This spilled over into his shadowy work on Trump’s 2016 campaign and subsequent House of Representatives investigation during which Caputo was brought before the House Intelligence Committee. His latest smear campaign, accusing the learned scientists of the Centers for Disease Control of ‘sedition’ and ‘resistance’ when they have only been hard at work these last many months against the coronavirus, was the last straw.

“It’s clear that Michael Caputo’s loyalty doesn’t lie with the American people, but solely with Trump. His hiatus from HHS is welcome at this critical time in our public health crisis, but at the same time is too little too late. I call on Caputo to step down permanently and leave the scientific experts at the CDC and HHS to do their jobs for the American people.

“Meanwhile where is my opponent? When Western New Yorkers and every day Americans need Chris Jacobs, whether to vote correctly or to stand up for them and denounce Caputo’s and Trump’s organized assault on science, the CDC, and public health and safety, Jacobs’ head is firmly planted in the sand as he protects his own political interest over the public’s health and safety. The lack of leadership is staggering and the silence deafening.”

Here is Michael Caputo's statement, which Caputo sent to The Batavian yesterday, about his leave of absence:

After consultation with President Trump and Secretary Azar, I have decided to take a temporary medical leave of absence to pursue necessary screenings for a lymphatic issue discovered last week.

My experience mirrors that of many Americans. When I first noticed I was losing weight, I thought it was because of a new exercise and diet regimen. But over time, I realized there may be other factors causing my weight loss for months.

Instead of taking the time to see my doctor, I failed to do so. This was a mistake, and contributed to my stress level, along with the increasing number of violent threats leveled at me and my family back in Buffalo. But every American battling COVID — in every city in every state across the nation — has been under enormous pressure. I am just one of them.

I’ve learned so much in friendship with the doctors of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force. Sometimes we disagree, but we work in unity to defeat the virus and we care for one another. I want to thank Dr. Tony Fauci for conferring with my personal physician as we get the healthcare I long needed, and yet neglected, through the pandemic.

Our family is blessed. We urge all Americans to see their family doctor for the health care they need but have missed for months during this crisis. Do it today.

September 17, 2020 - 4:25pm
posted by Press Release in news, coronavirus, covid-19.

Press release:

New Cases – As of 2 p.m. 

  • Genesee County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • Four new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

 

  • Orleans County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • Two new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
September 17, 2020 - 4:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, news, elba, batavia, corfu.

More than 200 Canisius College students recently concluded their summer internship programs, as part of their academic studies.

As defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, an internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.

The students who participated in and recently completed internship programs are:

Thomas Kubiniec, of Batavia, from the Canisius College Class of 2020. Kubiniec earned a degree in Biology and completed an internship with PEPID.

Hannah Schaber, of Corfu, from the Canisius College Class of 2020. Schaber earned a degree in Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation and completed an internship with SPCA Serving Erie County.

Luca Zambito, of Elba, from the Canisius College Class of 2020. Zambito earned a degree in Finance/Economics and completed an internship with Landmark Wealth Management.

At Canisius College, the Griff Center for Student Success supports professional internship programs that focus on quality, engagement and professionalism. The Griff Center works as a liaison with local and national employers to provide students with professional learning experiences outside of the classroom, so that students may apply what they're learning in the classrom and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths.

The Griff Center also makes available Handshake, a free portal which students can use to connect to thousands of organizations looking to hire Canisius graduates for positions in Western New York and nationwide. Additionally, the Griff Center plays host to Griff Fair, an annual career and internship event held each spring for students.

One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York.

September 17, 2020 - 4:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, bergen, batavia, Le Roy.

Jennifer D. Abrams, 29, of Locust Street, Rochester, and Tarus O. Fluitt, 47, of Rochester (address not provided), are both charged with: third-degree burglary, a felony; second-degree criminal mischief, a felony; third-degree attempted burglary, a felony; third-degree criminal mischief, a felony; and two counts each of fifth-degree conspiracy, a misdemeanor. In addition, Fluitt only is also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a misdemeanor. At 2:12 a.m. on Sept. 16, two suspected allegedly attempted to gain entry to the Kwik Fill gas station at 7010 W. Main Street Road, Le Roy, by throwing large rocks through the glass front door. The suspects then fled the scene after not being able to make entry. At 2:27 p.m., the same two suspects allegedly made entry to the Crosby's gas station at 5267 Clinton Street Road, Batavia, by throwing a large paver stone through the front glass door. The suspects entered the store and were allegedly in the process of stealing about $3,500 worth of cigarettes, when a Genesee County Sheriff's Office patrol arrived to check on the business, and they confronted the two suspects inside the store. The suspects fled out an alternate entrance, and went into a wooded area behind the store. They were apprehended a short time later. It is alleged they caused more than $1,500 in damage while inside the store. They were arraigned in Genesee County Court and jailed in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond. Fluitt remains in custody and is awaiting arraignment. The Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate this incident as well as similar incidents that have occurred in recents weeks. The case was investigated by Deputy Nicholas Chamoun, Deputy David Moore, Deputy Ryan Young, Deputy Jordan Alejandro, Investigator Christopher Parker, and Chief Deputy Joseph Graff. They were assisted by members of the NYS Polive Department, Batavia Police Department, Le Roy Police Department, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and other members of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

Kyle Allen Hawley, 30, of Chili Riga Road, Churchville, is charged with: second-degree burglary; criminal mischief -- intentionally damaging property; and criminal tampering in the third degree. On Sept. 15, members of the Genesee County Probation Department took Hawley into custody on an active, outstanding bench warrant out of Genesee County Court. It stems from an incident reported at 9 p.m. April 20 on South Lake Avenue in Bergen. Hawley was arraigned in county court at 3:05 p.m. and put in jail without bail. Hawley also had an arrest warrant out of Bergen Town Court and he was arrested on that warrant and released on his own recognizance. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen.

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