The Batavia City Council tonight, with new Councilman At-Large Jeremy Karas on board, voted to accept a $46,000 bid from Catenary Construction Corp. of Rochester to repair the deteriorating pillars at the south end of Redfield Parkway.
The vote was 8-1 in favor, with Rose Mary Christian casting the negative vote.
The accepted bid from Catenary is $24,000 less than what Council set aside to rehabilitate the city-owned structure.
Matt Worth, Department of Public Works director, reported that Catenary will remove about 30 percent of the existing stone and all of the border work.
A memo to Worth from Kurt Schnarr of In.Site: Architecture of Perry indicates that a third of the existing stone is damaged and will be removed and replaced with new stone to match. The existing exposed electrical conduit will be removed and rerouted to be concealed within the pillar cavity, and the existing light fixtures will be removed, salvaged and reinstalled.
Schnarr recommended Catenary, as did Councilman Robert Bialkowski, who said the Catenary is a “highly respected masonry company … and I feel they’ll do a good job.”
Christian said it was “wrong taking taxpayers’ money for this” and suggested that Redfield Parkway residents should pay for it, noting that they receive free tickets from Batavia Downs.
Council President objected, questioning that “because they get income from some private entity” they should have to pay?
“It is city property … we own it and are responsible for it,” he said.
Before official business commenced, Karas, a resident of Union Street, was sworn in to replace fellow Republican Adam Tabelski, who recently stepped down after his wife, Rachael, was hired as the assistant city manager.
Following the meeting, Karas, service manager for Temp-Press Inc. of Rochester, said he moved to Batavia about 15 years ago. Prior to that, as an Elba resident, he said he was involved in local government committees and the volunteer fire department and hoped that eventually he could become a public servant.
Karas, 40, said he is “very excited to see a lot of the downtown revitalization initiatives that have been coming into light recently … as a fairly young member of the community with young children as well, I plan on being here a long time and I look forward to helping them out, trying to shape the future of Batavia and make this a great place for many other families to live for years to come.”
Karas and his wife, Andrea, a kindergarten teacher at Oakfield-Alabama Central School, have two boys, both of them pupils at St. Joseph’s School in Batavia.
In other action, Council:
-- Voted unanimously to approve a pair of $20,000 grant request from the City’s Revolving Loan Fund to assist projects of Guy Clark, owner of Cedar Street Sales & Rentals, and Stephen Valle and Carrie and John Lawrence, owners of a hair salon/apartment building at 242 Ellicott St. (at the corner of Liberty Street).
Clark is expanding his business with a building across the street from his existing business and the grant money would be used to add an attractive and functional front porch façade to the new bulding, while Valle/Lawrence is renovating their 3,400-square-foot building, with the City grant to be used to complete the entire façade and renovate one of the two upstairs apartments.
-- Voted 9-0 to waive the residency requirement for City Firefighter Ferdinando Papalia, citing circumstances that would create an undue hardship for the employee.
Photos at top -- The Batavia 9-10-year-old Little League team was honored with a proclamation for winning the district and sectional titles and advancing to the state tournament. In back row are coaches Paul Viele, Mark Fitzpatrick and Scott Nemer; front from left, Chase Antinore, Champ Buchholz, Dominic Viele, Parker Lazarony, Casey Mazur, Ty Gioia, Grady Hemer, Julius Santiago, Connor Malone, Evan Fitzpatrick and Finn Davies. Unable to attend were players Will Stevens and Jonah Motyka, Head Coach Sam Antinore and Assistant Coach Ben Buchholz. In second photo, Charles "Chuck" Neilans is honored upon his retirement after 30 years of service as the chief operator of water for the city. Council member Kathleen Briggs reads the proclamation. Photos by Mike Pettinella.