Skip to main content

Park Road Reconstruction Project

Downs' officials set sights on installation of Park Road enhancements; Bills, Amerks suite license pacts extended

By Mike Pettinella

The Park Road Reconstruction Project has entered the homestretch and Batavia Downs Gaming officials couldn’t be more pleased.

That’s the word from Henry Wojtaszek, president and chief executive officer of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., and the public benefit company’s board at their meeting this morning.

“It's probably 80 percent complete,” Wojtaszek said. “We expect substantial completion by October 17th and hopefully we will have two-way traffic on the street (again) in just two to three weeks.”

Edward Morgan, chair of the Batavia Downs Operations Committee, reported that Nov. 30 is the “targeted” completion date.

He said that trees purchased by WROTB are scheduled to be delivered tomorrow – and will take a week to install – and light poles (also purchased by WROTB) will be delivered next week and installed during the week of Oct. 3.

Morgan also said that the facility will feature two valet parking sites – the current one at the south end and a new one at the main entrance “to accommodate those (customers) staying at the Hotel (at Batavia Downs).

Wojtaszek said installation of the trees and streetlights will be handled by CATCO, the project’s primary contractor, and subcontractors.

“We're excited about the possibility of the completion by the second week in October and we look forward to a completed, beautiful project,” he said.

When asked by The Batavian about parking at the lot of the former Kmart building across the street, he said WROTB’s lease with Benderson Development, owner of the property, has expired and that anyone parking there is doing so “at their own risk.”

However, he did say that there is adequate parking for the events at Batavia Downs, and that he could foresee another lease agreement with Benderson should the need arise for concerts next summer.

On another front, the board extended its suite license with Pegula Sports & Entertainment for the 2022-23 Buffalo Bills football season at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, and a similar agreement with Rochester Arena LLC for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 Rochester Americans hockey seasons at the Blue Cross Arena.

Both contracts were paused in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the passage of a pair of resolutions to extend them. The cost with Pegula Sports is $103,200 and the cost with Rochester Arena is $37,150 for this season and $38,250 for 2023-24.

Wojtaszek said ticket distribution for the suites are handled through the WROTB marketing department “in a very professional, promotional way.”

“It'll be a combination of tickets being given away in a drawing on the (gaming) floor, which improves the attendance on our floor and improves foot traffic throughout the building, and then through the host department,” he said. “They’ll find good players and make sure that they offer them to come in and enjoy the experience at a Bills’ game (or Amerks’ game).”

In a related move, the board approved an annual expenditure of up to $610,000 for various promotional items from Mark-It-Smart, Inc., based in Santa Ana, Calif. Items are purchased on a per-event basis as part of a “continuity program,” Wojtaszek said, and include luggage, cookware, purses, barbecue items, camping equipment, glassware and small appliances.

In other action, the board approved the following resolutions:

  • Contracts with three Batavia-based companies for a telescopic boom lift, marketing mailers and electrical parts and supplies.

Directors authorized payment of $147,000 to Skyworks, the lowest bidder, for a telescopic boom lift, ending the recent practice of leasing the equipment.

“Now’s the time to take that extra step and purchase it and make it cost-effective for the company,” Wojtaszek said. “It's a safety issue. We have a lot of decent sized projects here, including window washing and construction. It was put into the capital plan, and it was in the budget for this year. The board thought it was prudent to go ahead and purchase it, and I agree.”

The board accepted a bid of $115,000 from Applied Business Systems to send out marketing mailers to patrons and potential patrons over the next year, with an option for WROTB to extend the pact for an additional year.

An agreement to spend up to $25,000 with Falcone Electric for electrical parts and supplies was approved through the end of the year.

  • A five-year extension of a contract with IK Systems, Inc., of Victor, at a cost not to exceed $68,444 to provide maintenance and testing services for the facility’s surveillance system.

Wojtaszek said he has been “impressed” with IK’s performance.

“I actually supervise the surveillance department here on site and I interact with them (IK Systems) very often. They are very timely and they're very efficient, So, that’s a five-year contract, sort of at a reduced price because we did it for an extended period of time.”

  • Electric and natural gas contracts with Marathon Power LLC and NOCO Gas & Electric, respectively, through Oct. 31, 2024. Both companies submitted low bids, with Marathon agreeing to supply electric at .0645 per kilowatt hour and NOCO agreeing to supply natural gas at 0.675 per centum cubic feet.

WROTB directors extend pact with law firm as they seek answer to health insurance question

By Mike Pettinella

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. leaders are taking steps to address the company health insurance policy that has been a media hot button item in recent months.

The corporation’s board of directors this morning approved a resolution to spend up to $25,000 to extend a contract with the Connors LLP law firm of Buffalo, with the goal of reaching a “global solution" to the health insurance matter.

“I’ve been instructed (by the board) to come back in September with a plan to globally address the healthcare issue for the whole company,” WROTB President/Chief Executive Officer Henry Wojtaszek said following the meeting at the Park Road facility. “We’re working on a nice, fair global solution to whatever healthcare (is permissible) and that includes the board and entire corporation.”

Wojtaszek said lawyers are negotiating with the New York State Attorney General’s office.

“He’s (Terry Connors) prepared a memo that he’s provided to the attorney general and he’s provided advice to our board,” he said. “Talks with the attorney general are continuing.”

Published reports about the “gold plated” health insurance plan given to board members have prompted protests from Western New York politicians and government officials – present and past. Until June of last year, all board members (and three retired ones) were receiving health insurance plans that cost the public benefit company an average of more than $10,000 per year.

The board, at its June 2021 meeting, voted unanimously to eliminate company-sponsored health insurance benefits for directors appointed on or after July 1, 2021. So, as of today, the majority of the board members are still receiving fully-paid health insurance.

In other developments, the board:

  • Approved the purchase of $50,000 worth of $20 gift cards from Tops Friendly Markets to be used toward a promotion for the Hotel at Batavia Downs for eligible hotel stays through the end of the year.
  • Announced that $61,498 in surcharges generated in July will be distributed to member municipalities. Also, it was reported that Batavia Bets’ revenue is down 16 percent this month as compared to last August, and 17 percent for the year as compared to this time in 2021.
  • Learned that management is looking to reduce the number of summer concerts from 11 to nine next year in an effort to attract top name bands and, hopefully, eliminate tribute bands. “The purpose is to possibly spend a little bit more money to get bigger bands, for lack of a better term, in order to attract bigger crowds,” Wojtaszek said. When asked if security was an issue this year, he said the combination of Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies, Batavia Police Department officers and the Downs’ security staff handled things well.
  • Reported that the Park Road Reconstruction Project is moving along, noting that crews were laying the binder on the east side of the road and that sidewalks are being put in on both sides. “We expect the road to be open after Labor Day and we expect substantial completion -- 97-98 percent of the project -- done by September 20th,” Wojtaszek said. (See photo below).

Batavia pizzeria owner 'shocked' with town's response to his concerns over Benderson application

By Mike Pettinella

The Town of Batavia engineer says he has cleared up miscommunication with the Lewiston Road businessman who has been speaking out against the proposed construction of a pair of restaurants with drive-thru lanes on the south side of the former Kmart parking lot near Park Road.

Steve Mountain today addressed comments made by pizzeria owner Jerry Arena earlier in the week. Appearing at the Batavia Town Board meeting, Arena said that it was his impression that the town was requesting Benderson Development Corp. to resubmit its plans.

Arena has charged Benderson with submitting what he calls a “falsified application,” primarily referring to the company checking boxes on its documentation that there are adequate bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways along the Lewiston Road corridor extending to Veterans Memorial Drive.

During the meeting, Arena said that Mountain indicated, in a phone call to him, that the town was looking for a revised application from Benderson. Town Supervisor Gregory Post responded by saying that he wasn’t aware of that.

“… the town engineer told me that Benderson was going to have to resubmit their application. And I was going to ask you guys about starting that process all over again,” Arena said.

He went on to say that he was very disappointed that town officials don't grasp that traffic is going to be much worse.

“I'm kind of in shock here. I was really happy that maybe …you're coming to a realization that it's a safety issue – a severe safety issue,” Arena said, reiterating that he continues to consider filing a temporary injunction to block the proposed development.

Contacted today, Mountain said he told Arena that Benderson needs to submit its engineering plans to him.

“The Town Planning Board approves the project contingent on my final review and approval, which is typical for every project,” Mountain said. “We'll go back and forth with the plans – review them and have some minor comments. All that engineering stuff – water and sewer and all those things.”

But as far as Benderson having to submit a new project application, Mountain said that is not the case.

He said he spoke with Arena a couple days ago and “better explained to him” that no new application was coming – just a revision of the engineering comments on the plans.

When asked if he thought there was a safety issue with the traffic in that area, Mountain said a traffic study consultant and state Department of Transportation officials had no concerns.

“We did note, in my comments back to them, however, that we need to look at – with the DOT – the southbound lane on Lewiston, where there’s only left turn arrows to the old Kmart,” he said. “We feel that should be left and right turn arrows, similar to what is near Tim Hortons and Tops. That’s the only thing, traffic-wise, that we’re looking at.”

Mountain said that the Park Road Reconstruction Project has resulted in more vehicle congestion, but he sees traffic flowing better once that is completed.

“The DOT will be going around the county, updating things, but we feel the Lewiston Road/Route 5 section is still acceptable,” he said.

He did mention that the town’s future projections include a new road from Lewiston Road to West Main Street Road (Route 5), north of the current intersection.

“That’s in our Comprehensive Master Plan,” Mountain said.

Town Board OKs sewer main agreements on Park Road

By Mike Pettinella

The Batavia Town Board on Wednesday night voted to enter into agreements with Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. and Genesee Park Place Associates to install approximately 700 feet of new 12-inch sewer main as part of the Park Road Reconstruction Project.

According to two separate resolutions, WROTB and Genesee Park Place have agreed to cover up to $260,000 for the installation of the sanitary sewer line that will connect to their existing sewer systems.

The town would be responsible for expenses greater than that figure and, toward that end, the board passed a resolution calling for the issuance of serial bonds of up to $340,000, with financing over a seven-year period.

Town Supervisor Gregory Post said the bonding process, initiated months ago, is necessary in case the town decides to pay off the debt in that manner.

In a related development, the board approved a change order with Concrete Applied Technologies Corp., the Park Road project general contractor, to install the sewer main. The approved increase of $294,425 brings the total amount of the contract with CATCO to $4,495,001.

Additionally, the board passed a resolution approving an increase of up to $275,000 in a contract with Ravi Engineering and Land Surveying of Rochester for construction inspection services for the Park Road project.

In other action, the board:

  • Authorized the transfer of a 4.66-acre parcel behind the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street to the Batavia Development Corp. for future development. Post said the town had acquired the land at no cost and that no money will change hands for the transfer, which he said will help facilitate the creation of the City of Batavia’s Creek Park project.
  • Adopted Local Law No. 3 of 2022 that amends the town’s vehicle and traffic law to establish 10- or 5-ton weight limits for trucks, tractors and tractor-trailer combinations on streets in the Oakwood Estates development off East Main Street Road and on Seven Springs Road from Route 33 to the Batavia-Stafford town line.
  • Granted a permit to Skylighters of New York, LLC, to put on a fireworks show on July 29 at the Genesee County Fair. The pyrotechnics display is scheduled to take place following the Demolition Derby, which gets underway at 7 p.m.
  • Reported that Assemblyman Steve Hawley will conduct a “town hall” session from 11:45 to 12:30 p.m. this Saturday at the Batavia City Centre (City Hall).

Park Road reconstruction reaches 'boxing out' stage

By Mike Pettinella

The general contractor of the Park Road Reconstruction Project – a $4 million venture covering 1.2 miles between Route 63 (Lewiston Road) and Route 98 (Oak Street) – has made it to the “boxing out” stage.

Concrete Applied Technologies Corp. crews today were working on the east side of Park Road in front of Batavia Downs Gaming, performing what one employee called “boxing out” the road to prepare it for milling, stone and, ultimately, repaving.

He said the plan is to finish that side of the road before moving to the other lane to allow for one-way through traffic.

Henry Wojtaszek, president of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., said the project is ahead of schedule, stating that he is confident work will be done by mid-October.

“Crews already have put in most of the sewers and completed the under-the-road work,” he said. “Once the new road is done, they can move on to the sidewalks and special lighting.”

CATCO, which is based out of Alden, is the general contractor.

Photo: CATCO construction crews working in front of Batavia Downs Gaming this afternoon. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Batavia Town Board sets public hearing on solar law

By Mike Pettinella

The Batavia Town Board on Wednesday night set a public hearing for 7 p.m. April 20 on Local Law No. 2 of 2022 – a provision entitled, “A Local Law to Amend the Town of Batavia Zoning Ordinance for Solar Energy Systems.”

The public hearing, which will take place at the Town Hall at 3833 West Main St. Rd., comes on the heels of several months of work by a committee charged with revising the ordinance on the installation of solar systems.

CLICK HERE to access a final draft of the updated solar law.

Supervisor Gregory Post thanked Town Council member Chad Zambito, committee chair, for the group’s efforts, with Zambito acknowledging the input of Building Inspector Dan Lang in the process.

In other action, the board passed resolutions to:

  • Adopt Local Law No. 1 of 2022 which changes the zoning in a portion of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park on East Main Street Road from Commercial to Industrial Park. This action means that all of the park is now zoned appropriately as an IP District.
  • Change a work order between Concrete Applied Technologies Corp. to included a $123,576.60 charge for the installation of a new, 12-inch watermain under Lewiston Road (Route 63) in an existing pipe as part of the Park Road Reconstruction Project.

CATCO is the general contract for the project on 1.2 miles of Park Road between Route 63 and Route 98.

Additionally, the board approved a contract for $55,000 for Ravi Engineering and Land Surveying to provide inspection services for the installation of watermain on Park Road, which also is part of the major project.

  • Appoint -- as reported first on The Batavian -- Raymond Tourt as highway superintendent, effective April 4 through the end of the year. His pay for the part-time, salaried position has been set at the pro-rated amount of $15,076.

Tourt, who has announced his retirement at the City of Batavia’s maintenance superintendent, moved into the elected position following the resignation of Thomas Lichtenthal, whose term expires on Dec. 31, 2025.

WROTB directors approve sewer pipe replacement; Park Road project expected to start in couple weeks

By Mike Pettinella

Directors of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. have approved spending up to $190,212 to install a new sewer pipe extending from the Genesee Park Place apartments to an area in front of the Hotel at Batavia Downs on Park Road.

The board, at its meeting last week, approved a resolution to accept a proposal by Town of Batavia officials to put in the pipe as part of the Park Road Reconstruction Project that is set to get underway this month.

“We believe the sewer pipe project will cost around $260,000 and we’ve made a request to owners of the Park Place apartments to split the cost,” WROTB President Henry Wojtaszek said today. “The board agreed to a maximum of $190,000 to take into account any overruns or contingencies, and in case we have to do it on our own.”

Wojtaszek said putting in the sewer line will eliminate the need to use an old pump station just south of Alex’s Place and will result in lower costs to the corporation.

Town Engineer Steve Mountain agreed, adding that it would be more efficient if that work is done as part of the major renovation of the road.

“We posed that to them if they wanted to consider it now rather than later,” Mountain said. “Now's the time -- before the road is built.”

WROTB previously agreed to spend about $450,000 in enhancements to the $4.077 million project -- improvements such as trees, street lights, increasing the size of the sidewalks and replacing the fence along the parking lots.

Mountain said the main water pipe is being delivered today or tomorrow and work will start in a couple weeks. Catco (Concrete Applied Technologies Corp.) Construction of Alden is general contractor for the project, which is expected to take several months, possibly until the end of the year.

“I guess you could say this is the calm before the storm,” Mountain said. “Everything will get started when the weather starts breaking.”

He noted that there will be lane shutdowns during construction but traffic will be maintained.

“There'll be times when it'll be stop and go for sure,” he advised.

The project calls for the installation of new pavement, curbs and curbing from Lewiston Road to Richmond Avenue with sidewalks on both sides of Park Road; overlaying of pavement and installation of sidewalks on one side of the road from Richmond Avenue to Route 98, and installation of new water lines and street lights on Park Road between Route 63 and Richmond Avenue.

Photo: WROTB President Henry Wojtaszek points north on Park Road, where a new sewer line running from Genesee Park Place apartments to Batavia Downs Gaming will be installed as part of the Park Road Reconstruction Project. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Batavia Downs preparing for Park Road project; June 10 concert to benefit Ricky Palermo Foundation

By Mike Pettinella

The president of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. this morning said he expects work on the Park Road Reconstruction Project to start in March.

“Everything seems to be in place,” Henry Wojtaszek said following the monthly board of directors meeting. “The preliminary work that the town (of Batavia) had to do up here at the corner of Lewiston and Park was completed, and … we anticipate a March start on the construction and probably go through to the end of summer, sometime in August or September.”

Wojtaszek said WROTB is prepared to pay around $450,000 for additional enhancements along Park Road – such as trees and street lights and increasing the size of the sidewalks – and also is working with town officials on issues related to the sewer system.

“We’re considering sewer enhancements instead of a pump station, which would be very costly to maintain,” he said.

The $4.077 million project consists of a complete renovation of Park Road – new pavement, curbs, sidewalks, water lines and street lights -- between Route 63 (Lewiston Road) and Route 98 (Oak Street).

Town Assistant Engineer Tom Lichtenthal previously reported that completion is set for December of this year.

In other developments from today’s WROTB meeting:

  • While sports betting on cell phones is now legal in New York State, Wojtaszek said he doesn’t expect that service to come to gaming facilities until early next year.

“We will have the ability to have kiosks here on site for sports betting next January and we anticipate taking advantage of that and providing that service for our customers,” he said. “But right now, we’re having our customers come in and they're betting the games on the phone or watching them in our 34 Rush.”

He said New York has already overtaken all other states to become the leading sports betting state in the nation. “And it took all of two weeks,” he said, noting that it became legal on Jan. 8.

  • A June 10 concert by Bruce in the USA, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band, will benefit the Ricky Palermo Foundation. A lifelong Genesee County resident, Palermo has been instrumental in raising millions of dollars for spinal injury research.

“One hundred percent of the ticket proceeds will go to Ricky’s foundation,” said Marketing Director Ryan Hasenauer. “Tickets are on sale now.”

For more information, go to

  • WROTB distributed $65,215 in surcharges to member municipalities in November, Chief Financial Officer Jacquelyne Leach reported.

On the branch side, revenue increased by $12 million in 2021 compared to 2020, but was down $1.1 million from 2019. The handle of Batavia Bets, the online platform, went up by $1.2 million in 2021 compared to the previous year.

  • Directors approved a resolution to purchase 840 gaming chairs and stools from Gary Platt Mfg. of Reno, Nev., for $346,000.

Supply chain issues push start of Park Road Reconstruction Project back to spring 2022

By Mike Pettinella

The “new normal” has become a reality for the Park Road Reconstruction Project.

Tom Lichtenthal, assistant engineer for the Town of Batavia, this morning said the start of the $4.077 million renovation of Park Road between Route 63 (Lewiston Road) and Route 98 (Oak Street) has been pushed back until next spring due to supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the result of COVID, just like we’ve seen for the last year and a half to two years in trying to get materials,” Lichtenthal said. “It’s the new normal, if you will, and it was not unexpected.”

During a pre-construction meeting last week with representatives of general contractor Catco (Concrete Applied Technologies Corp.) Construction of Alden, Lichtenthal learned that the pipe for the watermain won’t be delivered for another 12 weeks.

“That pushes the start out to mid-January, which is not a good time for this type of work,” he said. “Installation of the pipe is still the first order of business, but it’s likely delayed until the spring of 2022.”

Lichtenthal said the late start is not expected to extend the timeline for the project’s completion, which has been set for December 2022.

The scope of the work includes installation of new pavement, curbs and curbing from Lewiston Road to Richmond Avenue with sidewalks on both sides of Park Road; overlaying of pavement and installation of sidewalks on one side of the road from Richmond Avenue to Route 98, and installation of new water lines and street lights on Park Road between Route 63 and Richmond Avenue.

Previously: WROTB, Town of Batavia agree on Park Road items

Previously: Town board OKs measures to support Park Road project

WROTB directors approve warehouse construction, parking agreement, funding for Park Road enhancements

By Mike Pettinella

A new warehouse for its food and beverage operation.

More parking on the former Kmart parking lot.

A potential street maintenance contract with the Town of Batavia in light of the Park Road Reconstruction Project.

Directors of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. continue to be called upon to approve spending resolutions to enhance the Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel enterprise.

The board, at this morning’s monthly meeting, approved several measures, including spending nearly $1 million to build a new 4,800-square-foot warehouse south of the facility, near Tops Market, and $75,000 for additional parking on the site across the street next to the former Kmart store.

It also will be asked, probably next month, to consider an agreement with the town where Batavia Downs’ crews would take care of maintaining trees, street lights and sidewalks – amenities that WROTB has agreed to pay for during the town’s rehabilitation of Park Road.


WROTB President/CEO Henry Wojtaszek said the warehouse project is being done for efficiency and cost savings.

“It’s a project that has been on the drawing board for a long time,” he said. “We actually bid it out in 2019 (and) it was a little higher than we wished to spend on the project. We were looking to spend somewhere close to one million dollars, and now we’re actually financing it for close to one million dollars.”

According to a pair of approved resolutions, the pre-fabricated steel structure will cost $921,712.18 to build, plus another $52,818.63 in engineering and architectural costs via a contract with E I Team Inc. of Buffalo.

Lowest bidders for the construction work are Ed Hulme General Contracting of Warsaw for the concrete foundation/asphalt ($325,545.18), Building Innovation Group Inc. of East Rochester for pre-fabricated steel building ($328,264), Suburban Electric of Albion for electrical/fire/closed circuit television ($143,000), and Crosby-Brownlie Inc. of Rochester for heating, air conditioning and plumbing ($114,900).

“We went back and reduced some of the things we asked for originally in the designs and the drawings, and we re-bid it and it came back at 921 (thousand), which they passed today,” Wojtaszek said. “It allows us to put all of our F&B supplies in one central place; it will be more efficient and it will be cost-effective. It’s something we have talked about for a long time and now it is coming to fruition.”


Wojtaszek said he and the board talked at length about the parking situation, agreeing to pay $75,000 for customer parking through next May. The property owner has not been charging Batavia Downs for several years prior to this agreement, he noted.

“We need it basically during the concert season to accommodate the patrons that want to park over there, and then, in the off months during this period of time, we need it because of the warehouse project,” he explained, adding that gaming customers will be able to use most of the parking lot if needed.

The property is owned by 570 DAB 30, LLC (Benderson Corp.), which is looking to develop it in the near future, Wotjaszek said.


Back in March, WROTB directors voted to pay the town up to $395,000 for property enhancements as part of the Park Road Reconstruction Project that is scheduled to commence this fall.

Costs of conduit, light fixtures and trees have gone up since then, Wojtaszek said, forcing the board to allocate additional funds, bringing the total to $488,000.

He said the total Park Road project price tag exceeds $4 million (around $4.3 million). Most of it is being paid for by New York State.

“We’ve worked very closely with the Town of Batavia … It will be a great addition -- beautification of that road and curb appeal that will extend to our business. We’re very excited about it,” Wojtaszek said.

He also said he expects the board to approve a contract with the town for Batavia Downs’ maintenance crews to take care of maintaining trees, street lights and sidewalks, and for snowplowing of that portion of the road.

In other developments:

  • WROTB will distribute $74,267 in surcharge earnings to member municipalities for July;
  • Batavia Bets, the corporation’s interactive online platform, has took in $12.5 million so far this year, up $2.1 million from the same time in 2020;
  • Directors authorized spending around $170,000 annually over five years to purchase suites from Western New York Arena for Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits and other arena events. Marketing Director Ryan Hasenauer said the corporation saved $27,000 by extending the pact to five years.

Bidding process complete, Town of Batavia hopes to start reconstruction of Park Road this fall

By Mike Pettinella

Catco Construction of Alden is the apparent low bidder to be the general contractor for the $4.3 million Park Road Reconstruction Project.

Town of Batavia Engineer Steve Mountain reported a “favorable” bidding process, in which 11 applications were submitted to take the lead role in an extensive rehabilitation of the road from Lewiston Road (Route 63) to Oak Street (Route 98).

“We will be looking to finalize the awarding of the contract over the next month,” Mountain said, adding that construction could start this fall depending upon the availability of materials. “We’ll be doing the utility work first and then the road work.”

The project consists of the following:

  • Installation of new pavement, curbs and curbing from Lewiston Road to Richmond Avenue with sidewalks on both sides of Park Road;
  • Overlaying of pavement and installation of sidewalks on one side of the road from Richmond Avenue to Route 98;
  • Installation of new water lines and street lights on Park Road between Route 63 and Richmond Avenue.

Funding from New York State will cover most of the cost, except for the $900,000 it will take to replace the water main. The Batavia Town Board recently passed a resolution calling for the issuance of serial bonds not to exceed $975,190, offset by any federal, state, county and/or local funds received.

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. has agreed to pay up to $395,000 for additional property enhancements near Batavia Downs Gaming.

On another front, Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post said highway crews are about 10 construction days away from completing culvert pipe on South Main Street Road at the intersection of Wortendyke Road – a project that has closed South Main Street Road to motorists for several weeks.

“We should be on scheduled to open it to traffic prior to the school bus season,” Post said.

Also, the Batavia Town Board on Wednesday night approved a resolution to contract with the Clark Patterson Lee engineering firm to prepare a report and provide other information for the Pratt Road Sewer Study. The $24,000 cost of the study is being paid for by an Engineering Planning Grant.

Batavia Town Board sets public hearings on sewer upgrades, Park Road project, solar moratorium for July 21

By Mike Pettinella

After swinging and missing on a pitch to obtain a grant from the New York State Office of Community Renewal for the replacement of 5,300 feet of water main as part of the Park Road Reconstruction Project, the Batavia Town Board is still staying in the batter’s box.

It remains steadfast in its commitment to upgrade the municipality's sanitary sewer pump station at the Valu Plaza on West Main Street.

On Wednesday afternoon, lawmakers scheduled a public hearing on the Community Development Block Grant funding for 7:05 p.m. July 21 (the board’s next meeting) at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road.

“The application is for upgrades and repairs of the sanitary sewer pump station at the West Main Street plaza,” said Town Supervisor Gregory Post, adding that he’s not sure of the cost at this time. “We’re working on that (cost projections) as we speak. It’s a rushed application because we were denied our last application for Park Road and another round of funding is coming out.”

Missing out on the Park Road grant is disappointing, he said, but as the project moves forward, the town is looking at a bond resolution to pay for the approximately $900,000 cost of replacing the water main.

“We’re going to bid on Park Road in the next few weeks and we’re bonding that,” he said. “Once we receive the bids, we’ll develop a construction schedule based on that.”

A public hearing on the bond resolution for the Park Road water main and the entire capital improvement project also is scheduled July 21 at 7 p.m.

The resolution calls for the issuance of serial bonds not to exceed $975,190, offset by any federal, state, county and/or local funds received.

The $3 million Park Road rehabilitation will take place from Lewiston Road (Route 63) to Oak Street (Route 98).

Work will include new pavement, curbs and curbing from Lewiston Road to Richmond Avenue with sidewalks on both sides of Park Road, while pavement will be overlaid and sidewalks installed on one side of the road from Richmond Avenue to Route 98. The project also calls for new water lines and street lights on Park Road between Route 63 and Richmond Avenue.

Additional property enhancements of up to $395,000 at Batavia Downs Gaming will be paid for by the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.

Solar Moratorium is Extended

In another development, the town board called another public hearing – this one for 7:10 p.m. July 21 to extend a moratorium on solar energy systems for up to another six months. The current moratorium is set to expire at the end of this month.

“We felt it important that we still had the moratorium in place while we work on getting our new (solar) law enacted,” Post said. “So, we’re setting a public hearing to extend the moratorium until such time that we have the legislative process complete.”

Post said the process of enacting new solar regulations has taken longer than expected “due to the extraordinary depths the (town’s solar) committee is diving into to make sure that this is well researched and well thought out. We want to make it more wholesome for the entire community and not leave anybody out.”

Post mentioned some recent developments in the solar arena that could affect the town’s handling of ground-mounted and, potentially, large-scale solar systems.

“The state’s solar agency (Office of Renewable Energy Siting) is being challenged in the courts, and NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) was found out to have hired a consulting firm that also has solar and wind energy customers as clients,” he reported. “That could be a conflict of interest – hiring somebody for a million dollars that is working for solar and wind energy companies.”

Furthermore, Post said he saw that Cypress Creek Renewables LLC, which owns the rights to a pair of side-by-side 5- and 4-megawatt solar systems on Ellicott Street Road, was sold to a Stockholm, Sweden-based investment company called EQT earlier this week.

“Solar is a hot topic and we just want to do our job and make sure we do it as well as everything else,” Post said, adding that he hopes to have the town’s new solar law in place by Labor Day.

Authentically Local