Local Matters

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Town of Oakfield

June 16, 2021 - 10:32am

luna.jpgA representative of the company looking to build the largest solar project ever in New York State says that building relationships with Town of Elba and Oakfield officials and residents are the keys to finding a path to a finished product that benefits everyone.

Speaking by telephone from his Chicago office last week, Harrison Luna (photo at right), development manager for Hecate (pronounced Heck-A-Tee) Energy, said things are progressing smoothly more than a year after the solar company announced its intention to place a 500-megawatt solar farm on what is now 2,452 acres of farmland in the north portion of the adjoining towns.

On June 3, Hecate Energy filed an application with the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) to construct the solar system, which Luna said represents a $500 million-plus investment that will create more than 500 construction jobs – and about 12 permanent full-time jobs -- and will be capable of supplying 920,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year.

Luna said he has been impressed with the feedback from governmental leaders in both towns, who have interacted with him through three open houses and numerous other meetings – virtually and in person. He said that he places a high priority on understanding the views and concerns of the local citizens.

“Just from my perspective, the only way these projects really work is when they come with a respect of the communities they deal with – by building relationships in the community,” he said. “You can’t do that without having a conversation, early and often. That’s how we’ve been doing it the whole time.”

COMMUNICATION LINES ARE OPEN

Luna said he has been in constant contact with town officials, landowners and neighbors, noting that there have been three virtual open houses with hundreds of people participating.

He also holds Zoom calls outside of his office hours for people to speak to him, and has set up a dedicated phone number and email address for people to call with questions or concerns. He said he returns those calls and emails as soon as possible.

A press release from Hecate Energy included comments from the Oakfield and Elba town supervisors, with both Matt Martin and Donna Hynes, respectively, giving the company high marks for keeping them informed “every step of the way” and offering a project that will result in significant financial benefits to both municipalities.

When contacted by The Batavian, Martin said that in his town, things are progressing without controversy.

“I had one resident ask about if the town wanted it or didn’t want it and I said, basically, that we have no choice,” he said. “The state dictates what they do with the solar panels; the state is running the show, not us.”

Martin acknowledged that the economic benefits will be significant – likely in the millions for both towns, the Oakfield and Elba school districts and other taxing entities – but said those, too, “are beyond our control.”

“We can publish what those benefits are but I don’t think they’ve got those numbers outlined yet,” he said. “As things progress, we’ll have some more information. Nothing like this moves really fast.”

A call to Hynes has not been returned.

NEW STATE AGENCY CONTROLS THE CLOCK

As far as the timetable is concerned, Luna said that ORES -- the state agency that has replaced the Article 10 permitting process for large-scale renewable projects -- has 60 days to determine whether Hecate Energy’s application is complete. The Cider Solar Farm is the first application submitted under ORES.

“They are set up sort of as a one-stop shop and a point of contact for everybody to work through the permitting items together,” Luna said. “I think the difference there is that in Article 10, interaction with agencies was hectic – you would talk to individual agencies – while here it’s more of a clearinghouse for all of those interactions with the state.”

Once ORES deems the application is complete, there’s a one-year clock it has to work through the various items in order to issue or deny a permit, Luna said. It could stretch beyond that (or move faster) depending upon the application checking all of the boxes.

Luna said once the permit is received, the company would be ready to start construction, hopefully by next summer. Construction is expected to take 18 months.

He said he projects that about 500 full-time equivalent jobs will be created during construction and around a dozen permanent jobs afterward.

“Once it is built, it is relatively low maintenance,” he said, adding that workers will be paid prevailing wage and “that you would expect a concentrated labor force of local residents.”

THIRTY-ONE LANDOWNING ENTITIES

What began as a 4,000-acre proposition has decreased to 2,452 acres, and that’s all by design, Luna said.

Currently, 31 landowning entities (controlling 67 parcels) have options to lease their land to Hecate Energy, with a few of them being different entities controlled by the same family.

The major landowners are Call Farms Inc., with more than 1,000 acres, along with Norton Farms (approximately 600 acres), Offhaus Farms Inc. (approximately 500 acres), and Eugene Bezon (approximately 300 acres).

Others with around 100 acres are Big O Realty LLC; CY Properties; Gene H. Sharp; David Shuknecht; and Lynn Shuknecht.

CLICK HERE for a complete list of landowners of record. Note that the acreage totals may have changed due to the “honing” process.

“The way that works is originally we went and sought options and lease agreements for 4,000 acres of land,” Luna said. “The reason we start that big is to give us enough room to move with the desires of the community and hone that project to the best possible version it could be. Over time, as we’ve listened to the community on certain things – how far it sets back from the road and various other concerns – we start pulling back and honing it to something much smaller.”

He called it a “useful exercise” -- one that considers protected wetlands and endangered species.

In the case of the Cider Solar Farm, less than 2/10ths of an acre of state-regulated wetlands has been permanently impacted, he said.

NAAS: PROPERTY OWNERS HAVE A CHOICE

genesee_bruce_nass_1.jpgBruce Naas (photo at right), president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau, has signed an option to lease 60 acres of land on Naas Farms LLC on Lockport Road in Oakfield for the solar project.

“My opinion has always been, if you own the property, it’s not like I am going to tell somebody else what do to with it,” Naas said. “If it is something that benefits you and your family in the long-term plan, then it’s something … it’s a decision that you have to make.”

Naas said the land that he is leasing is a small portion of the family farm, which grows vegetables, soybeans, corn and wheat.

“We here at our farm, elected to put the poorer ground into solar. It would not generate the income that we have been offered by the solar company – growing row crops. So, for us, it’s strictly a business decision.”

He said he hopes that solar works out in the long run.

“My biggest fear with solar is that it is something I would assume as time goes on would become more efficient … I hope as we move forward, that these things don’t become obsolete before their lifespan,” he said. “I guess from the sounds of it, it is an objective that the governor and political leaders want us to meet, and either you say ‘Yes’ or the train passes you by.”

Naas mentioned the economic advantages for the community, but added that his “biggest concern was that I have to look it at for the rest of my career.”

The farm bureau has no official position on solar, Naas said, reiterating his stance that it is the property owners’ choice “unless it directly affects someone else.”

A call to Call Farms for comment from one of the owners was not returned.

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN THE PIPELINE

Just as the public has seen with the Excelsior Energy Project in the Town of Byron, where the taxing jurisdictions stand to gain millions over the 20-year term of the agreement, the towns of Elba and Oakfield, their school districts, special fire districts, Genesee County and the Haxton Memorial Library will reap financial rewards.

The landowners receive direct compensation through their lease agreements (which generally are believed to pay between $500 and $2,000 per acre per year).

“Our goal is to try to make sure everyone benefits; everyone in the community as well as the company as well as the State of New York as well as landowners,” Luna said. “We want it to be positive for everybody involved.”

Towns and other interested parties also have access to $500,000 in intervener funds – money made available to help towns and groups/individuals evaluate the impact of the project.

“Local people have a voice in this and they will coordinate with ORES as it makes funding available over the next two month to the towns and other interveners,” Luna said. “The towns can use that to get their heads around what exactly is going on. Towns request the amount they need or want, ORES takes a look at every intervener funding request and allocates that funding to the towns and other pertinent entities – with the towns having first place in line.”

Luna did not speak to whether Hecate Energy would be applying for tax incentives or payment in lieu of taxes through the Genesee County Economic Development Center, stating that the process has yet to reach that stage.

DISCOUNT ON CONSUMERS’ ELECTRIC BILLS

He did point out that every resident of Elba and Oakfield will receive a direct utility bill reduction in connection with the project.

“We will send money to the utility that they must take off people’s monthly utility bills … for the first 10 years,” he said. “We pay a fixed amount per year to be distributed to town residents. It will probably about $100 per year for each resident, but that will be determined.”

Luna, responding to a question about the flow of electricity from the system, said power generated on the grid flows to the nearest user of electricity.

“It will be used as close to as it is generated as there is demand for it,” he said, adding that the system would produce enough electricity to power all of Genesee County “and then a little bit more.”

Hecate Energy has entered into a Renewable Energy Credit (REC) contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Luna said.

“We sell environmental benefits of the project, which are tracked using these objects called RECs,” he said. “We’ll sell those under contract to the state, or NYSERDA, where they get to retire them and take credit for the ‘green’ goals that the state has – which are quite ambitious.”

He said his company seeks to demonstrate that it is meeting the state’s goals.

“It’s not a contract to sell the power. We’re not selling power; we’re capacity to the state,” he added. “We can sell the power under this contract to the open market so that any user of electricity that is eligible to buy electricity, we can sell it flexibly.”

TORREY MARSHALL: WE CHOOSE TO FARM

maureen-torrey_2.jpgLuna said he has encountered no organized opposition – “I’m knocking on wood as I’m saying that,” he noted – and attributes that to the level of interaction thus far.

“I think it’s a real difference when you’re generally putting these communities first in your mind when you doing anything. I think people can tell. I think it’s really important if people really care about communities when they do these things as it really makes everything a lot better,” he said.

While that may be true, not everyone is thrilled that solar has become such a hot commodity at the expense of farming.

Maureen Torrey Marshall (photo at right) of Torrey Farms, a major agricultural enterprise in Elba and surrounding towns, said she thinks “it’s sad that solar panels are the most viable crop that farmers can grow.”

“Well, you can’t fault anybody because they can’t get that type of return by growing any crops, but it all goes back to New York State,” she said. “I’m on the (Elba) town board and we’re going to try to get as much (money) as we can, but you can’t fault anybody. The town and the school need to benefit as much as they can from this.”

She said that solar is going to change the look of the community – and it’s not about to stop in Elba and Oakfield.

“That is what is going to happen down in the valley along (Interstate) 390, near Mount Morris – all that beautiful farmland in that area. That’s all going to be solar,” she said. “New York has placed a priority on green energy and it has just steamrolled.”

Torrey Marshall said her operation is not leasing land to the project.

“You get letters – these companies are just coming out of the woodwork. To be honest, all of Route 98 going to the Thruway could be solar panels,” she said. “It’s our choice and our choice is to farm.

“Elba has survived on agriculture ever since it was founded. Then you have people saying that this is so great. It’s sad that this is the best viable use for your land right now.”

ZUBER: TAKING FOOD OUT OF OUR MOUTHS

Eric Zuber, of Byron, part of the organized opposition to the Excelsior Energy Project, said he owns farmland on the fringes of the Cider Solar Farm but is not signed up to lease any land.

“The quality of ground they are taking in that one is not the quality of the ground here. It’s productive soil but it isn’t the soil that is being taken for the project in Byron,” he said. “Still, I think all of these projects on farmland are stupid. I think, if I had the right type of guys come in here, they could prove that it will create more carbon than it’s going to prevent.”

Hecate Energy contends that the Elba/Oakfield solar system is projected to offset more than 420,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of taking over 92,000 average cars off the road annually.

Zuber said he is on board with smaller solar farms on side yards or on roofs of homes, “but when they start doing these big projects, they’re taking the food out of people’s mouths.”

“Go to the grocery store and buy food. What has it done in the last six months? You need another $50 in your pocket to buy your groceries,” he said. “All they’re doing is making people hungrier and making the poor people poorer.”

THE BEST APPLE CIDER IS HERE

Luna acknowledged that not everyone is on board with solar panels along country roads.

“There are always some people who aren’t really excited, which is natural for a project of this scale,” he said. “What we do in that case, which again I think is really positive, is try to interact directly with those people and have one-on-one conversations – because sometimes we can help. If they’re concerned that they will be looking at panels all day, we can put visual screening there that mitigates that visual impact. That can make people feel more comfortable in many cases.”

He said Hecate Energy is committed to community involvement and will be looking at opportunities as the project progresses.

The solar company is hosting a fire training for first responders in Elba and Oakfield next Monday night (June 21) at the Elba Firemen’s Recreation Hall in the village. Luna said it will be a comprehensive training in the event of solar fires or emergency situations in various applications – not just large-scale, ground-mounted systems.

So, as indicated, the clock is ticking on the Cider Solar Farm, a unique name for the project that came into Luna’s mind as he drank a glass of local apple cider.

“Funny enough, the first time I came up to town – I’m not exactly sure where it was – I was on the road looking for land that was suitable and getting prepared for meetings with landowners when I bought some apple cider at some place … and I said that this is the best cider I ever had,” he said. “I’m from Tennessee. I don’t know if it’s something about the climate or something else, but maybe our apples aren’t quite as good. But I really enjoyed the cider.”

Hence the name, Cider Solar Farm.

June 11, 2021 - 1:51pm

The City of Batavia could be getting a third Tim Hortons.

A spokesman for the Quicklee’s convenience store chain Thursday night said the family-owned, Avon-based company is talking with Tim Hortons’ representatives about operating a drive-thru restaurant at the site of the former Bob Evans Restaurant at 204 Oak St. (Route 98).

Louis Terragnoli, director of real estate and development for Quicklee’s, was on the Zoom call of the meeting of the Genesee County Planning Board, which approved a site plan and area variances for a 2,771-square-foot convenience store with 1,000-square-foot drive-thru and a four-pump fuel station.

“We’re in negotiations with Tim Hortons right now and let’s keep our fingers crossed that it keeps going the right way,” Terragnoli said, adding that the company will be completely remodeling the interior and exterior of the building.

Quicklee’s is required to obtain variances since the service station is 165 feet from a church (less than the minimum 500 feet) and the proposed number of parking spaces is 40 (less than the minimum 68).

Terragnoli said he spoke with the Rev. Tom Tharp at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 190 Oak St., and said the pastor was in favor of the project.

As far as parking spaces, Terragnoli said the 40 spots in Quicklee’s plan are adequate.

“From a business perspective, we are overparked. Forty is fine. Sixty-eight is something we don’t have at any location,” he said. “There won’t be any congestion … we’ll have plenty of spots. We will be accessing the site from Noonan Drive. We have a report from the DOT (Department of Transportation) that says that is the best way to do it.”

He also said the company will add a landscaping buffer along the southern part of the property facing Noonan Drive.

“We want to shield the dispensers as much as we can from the church property, so we want to do the right thing for our neighbor,” he said.

Terragnoli added that they will install two handicap accessible curb cuts at the corner and put in a sidewalk “so pedestrians can safely ingress and egress from our site” and dumpsters will be relocated away from the Noonan Drive entrance area for safety purposes.

The Batavia location will be Quicklee’s 24th and could be open by early fall.

Planners recommended approval of the site plan and area variances. The referral now will go before the City Planning & Development Committee at its meeting on Tuesday and then to the City Zoning Board of Appeals.

In other action, the planning board recommended approval of:

  • A site plan for a 107,138-square-foot addition on the southwest corner of the existing plant for warehousing and manufacturing at Liberty Pumps, 7000 Apple Tree Ave., Bergen. Modifications include a stormwater prevention plan and archaeological impact study.

The project also will include a new entrance and exit from Route 19.

  • Zoning text amendments from the Oakfield Town Board for the entire Town of Oakfield to allow major solar collection systems to the Land Conservation (LC) and Agricultural-Residential (AR) Districts and to add public and private utilities to the LC District.

County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said the town wants to amend the zoning to help advance the Cider Solar Farm project of Hecate Energy – a 500-megawatt system being developed under the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting.

“As a state-sited project, they don’t necessarily need to follow the local zoning process, but it does make it easier for the company because they won’t have to go in front of a judge and argue why they can override the municipal zoning,” Oltramari said. “This makes it a little more friendly to that project.”

  • A special use permit for Chad Downs, 1300 McVean Road, Darien, to place a pest control business in his home, which sits in a Low Density Residential (LDR) District.

The planning department recommends approval with the modification that the storage and disposal of herbicides, pesticides, and other hazardous materials must be conducted in accordance with applicable State and Federal regulations.

June 9, 2021 - 8:23pm

plug.jpg

The Genesee County Planning Department is recommending approval of a site plan review submitted by Plug Power Inc., the Latham-based company specializing in the development of hydrogen fuel cells systems for applications such as heavy-duty freight and forklifts.

The referral is one of 15 on the agenda of the county planning board’s meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday via Zoom videoconferencing.

According to information provided to the planning department, the site plan to place the green hydrogen facility at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park includes three structures – an 8,000-square-foot operations and maintenance building, a 40,000-square-foot electrolyzer building and a 68,000-square-foot compressor building.

STAMP, located on Crosby Road in the Town of Alabama, is designated as a Technology (T-1) District.

Additional documentation indicates the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which owns STAMP, is in the final stages of closing the sale of 29.884 acres to be allocated to the Plug Power venture, which is being called Gateway Project.

The full environmental assessment form filled out by Plug Power reveals that construction will take place in two phases, with phase one to commence in March 2022 and phase 2 to be completed in June 2023.

It is projected that the company will use 280,000 gallons of water per day, with expected additional capacity from the construction of two new water lines. Company officials state that 70,500 gallons of wastewater will be generated each day. The grounds also will feature a stormwater management facility.

Approximately 16 tanker trucks will come to the facility each day on a reconstructed Crosby Road to provide a new access path. Construction is expected to take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Once complete, it will be a 24-hour operation.

Last Thursday, Genesee County Economic Development Center directors approved approximately $2.8 million in sales tax incentives related to the construction of the electrical substation.

The GCEDC reported that Plug Power is investing $232 million the company to build the facility, which is estimated to create 68 full-time jobs.

The company also is investing $55 million toward the construction a substation that will enable 100-percent renewable, reliable electricity at less than $0.035/kwh to future tenants in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid.

Other referrals of note:

  • Special use permit, area variance and site plan review for a Quicklee’s convenience store and four-pump fuel station island at the former Bob Evans Restaurant location in a Commercial (C-2) District at 204 Oak St. (Route 98) in the City of Batavia.

The area variance is necessary because the service station is 165 feet from a church (less than the minimum 500 feet) and the proposed number of parking spaces is 40 (less than the minimum 68).

Patricia Bittar, director of land development projects at WM Schutt Associates, filed the application, stating that the proposed project will take up 2,771 square feet for the convenience store and 1,000 square feet for a drive-thru restaurant.

The planning department recommends approval. The applicant also will have to go in front of the City Planning & Development Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals.

  • Site plan review for a 107,138-square-foot addition for warehousing and manufacturing to Liberty Pumps, 7000 Apple Tree Ave., Bergen

The planning department recommends approval with modifications pertaining to stormwater prevention and archaeological impact documentation.

  • As previously reported on The Batavian, a zoning map change request from the Le Roy Town Board to rezone seven parcels from Residential (R-2) to Light Industrial (I-2) District to expand the GCEDC-owned Le Roy Food & Tech Park on Route 19 ad Randall Road in the Town of Le Roy.

This action could open the door for Great Lakes Cheese of Hiram, Ohio, to build a $500 million processing plant at the site.

The planning department recommends approval since the Comprehensive Plan adopted by the Town of Le Roy in 2017 identifies this area in its Future Land Use Plan as Agriculture and adjacent to Industrial.

  • Zoning text amendments from the Oakfield Town Board for the entire Town of Oakfield to allow major solar collection systems to the Land Conservation (LC) and Agricultural-Residential (AR) Districts and to add public and private utilities to the LC District.

The towns of Oakfield and Elba are gearing up for the proposed construction of a 500-megawatt solar farm by Hecate Energy, which today announced that is has filed an application with the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting.

If approved and constructed, the Cider Solar Farm would be the largest solar project ever built in New York State.

Hecate Energy’s press release indicated that the $500 million private infrastructure investment is expected to create moe than 500 construction jobs and will be capable of supplying 920,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year – enough to power more than 120,000 average New York households.

The planning department is recommending approval.

  • A special use permit for Chad Downs, 1300 McVean Road, Darien, to place a pest control business in his home, which sits in a Low Density Residential (LDR) District.

The planning department recommends approval with the modification that the storage and disposal of herbicides, pesticides and other hazardous materials must be conducted in accordance with applicable State and Federal regulations.

Architect's rendering at top: 3D view of the Plug Power facility to go at WNY STAMP. The rectangle building at the front is the compressor building and the long building behind it is the electrolyzer building. The operations and maintenance building is the smaller structure at right.

June 3, 2020 - 9:29pm

chad_klotzbach_.jpgChad Klotzbach of Basom has been selected to replace John Hilchey as the District No. 1 representative (Alabama and Oakfield) on the Genesee County Legislature.

The legislature’s Ways & Means Committee this afternoon unanimously approved the appointment pursuant to the county’s Local Law No. 1, 1967. The term takes effect on June 10 – when Klotzbach is expected to be sworn in at a meeting of the full legislature – and runs through Dec. 31.

Klotzbach was endorsed by both the Town of Alabama and Oakfield Republican committees at meetings last month.

 “I’ve been interested in this type of service for a while after learning about the inner workings (of government) through my involvement with the (Town of Alabama) planning board and STAMP (Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park) in the Town of Alabama,” Klotzbach said.

A 2006 Oakfield-Alabama Central School graduate, Klotzbach is managing partner of Alleghany Farm Services in Basom, a family business started by his father, Drew, in the early 1980s. The company specializes in commercial construction site work and agricultural drainage across New York State.

Klotzbach earned his civil engineering degree from Clarkson University in Potsdam, where he was a competitive swimmer, before obtaining a master in business administration degree from Canisius College in Buffalo.

Currently, he is a member of the Town of Alabama Planning Board that is in the middle of a zoning update.

Asked to introduce himself at the Zoom meeting, Klotzbach, 31, said he interacts with residents of the district on a regular basis through his business and the planning board.

“I’ve done a lot of surveys and chatting with people in the town, so I have a pretty good status of what is going on in the town at the moment, what the forward thoughts are and where people want to see it going,” he said.

Klotzbach also said he enjoys working with and encouraging young entrepreneurs in the area.

“Just as it’s super important to bring in new businesses to the county, I also think it’s a better idea to foster and kind of encourage the students that we have – the younger people – to build their businesses and mentor them.”

The vacancy on the board was created when Hilchey resigned from the position on May 14, citing “risks of possible negative impact upon his employer.”

The District No. 1 seat will be up for election in November, which gives Klotzbach and any others interested in serving on the legislature, an opportunity to get on the ballot.

November's victor would serve in 2021 and then -- provided that he or she wishes to continue -- would run again in November 2021 when that seat goes for a four-year term.

In other action, the committee:

-- Approved an agreement between the county and Prospect Hill Consulting LLC of Buffalo to coordinate a Comprehensive Planning Process and create a County Recreation plan.

The project is designed to foster interagency cooperation and a smooth flow of information, starting with the vision of community residents about land use and developing into a policy that can be monitored by the legislature, County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said.

Oltramari said the $100,000 project will be funded by a $40,000 award the county received in 2019, along with a $45,000 cash match from a previously established county project to create the County Recreation Plan and a $15,000 in-kind contribution.

Legislator Chair Rochelle Stein said she is excited about the prospects of working with Prospect Hill Consulting, which she said will “provide a youthful look at the county and our natural resources.”

“I can not wait for them to meet with our leadership partners – the towns, villages and city – to bring us into 2050,” she said. “It’s going to be a tremendous task, but the plan will make a big difference in Genesee County.”

-- Approved a retail lease agreement between the Town of Bergen and the Monroe County Water Authority for the operation and maintenance of the town’s Water Improvement Benefit Area No. 1.

Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said authorization by the legislature is required in agreements such as this one, adding that this will enable the town to have the “paperwork to get their district going.”

Residents using water in the new benefit area are subject to the full surcharge to the County Water Fund per a water supply agreement with the Town of Bergen dated June 13, 2018, Hens said.

-- Approved a 2.3 percent raise for Jay Lazarony, the GLOW Workforce Development Board manager, retroactive to April 1. The $1,508 increase bumps his salary to $66,271 and is covered by the GLOW WDB. County Manager Jay Gsell said that no county funds have ever been allocated to the organization.

-- Commended Legislative Clerk Pamela LaGrou following a review of the administrative office.

“We’re extremely pleased to have you sitting in that seat (at the Old Courthouse) and minding the fort for us,” Stein said.

March 23, 2020 - 4:10pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, town of batavia, Town of Darien, Town of Oakfield.

Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post is urging everyone to abide by “social distancing” mandates as he takes the necessary steps to continue providing services to residents while protecting the health of town employees.

“In order for us to get through this (COVID-19 pandemic), we continue to insist that people separate and practice social distancing,” Post said today while drafting a policy that, he says, “will maintain the status quo for the duration” of this situation.

(See press release below.)

Post said that Town offices will be closed to the public and that town employees will work from home to the extent that is practical. He said that Town Clerk Teressa Morasco will be available by telephone or email.

“Essentially, our town is well prepared for this event as we have had remote work stations and flex time for several years,” Post said. “It is not a leap to have staff work from home.”

He said he has reduced “in-house” staff to a minimum – no more than four employees in the building at any one time – and those on duty at Town Hall will work apart from each other as mandated by federal and state officials.

Post also said that the Town Court is closed with justices “on standby in the event of a significant case.” He also noted that engineering, highway and water/sewer employees are on duty and traveling in separate vehicles.

“We can take a sense of comfort in knowing that our day-to-day operations continue without any reduction, except for face-to-face meetings,” Post said, noting that internet and telephone options are being offered.

Darien Town Supervisor Steve Ferry Jr. said essential services such as picking up of debris and tree cutting by the highway department continue and that the Town Board is in the process of setting up governmental meetings on the internet.

“We don’t want the public to be shut out,” he said.

Ferry said he likely was speaking for all other Genesee County towns and villages when he said his primary concern was supporting the businesses in Darien while also making sure to protect the public’s health.

“Our biggest struggle is hoping that our town’s businesses will come out of this and continue to operate,” he said. “Plus, we hope that someone is keeping an eye on the welfare and unemployment situations.”

He said he believes that the decisions coming out of Albany, namely Gov. Cuomo’s daily briefings, are good ones and that most people are adhering to the mandates.

While all towns and villages have adopted the social distancing norms and have suspended face-to-face interactions, the Town of Oakfield also has enlisted a group of volunteers who will pick up and deliver food and household items to elderly and disabled town and village residents.

Volunteers are instructed to deliver the goods to the door and collect payment with minimal contact.

Those wishing to utilize this service are asked to call the Oakfield Town office at 948-5835, ext. 101, and leave a message if no one answers. A volunteer will return the call.

Town and village residents are urged to go to their municipality's website for updated information.

August 6, 2013 - 4:00pm
Event Date and Time: 
September 1, 2013 - 12:00pm to September 2, 2013 - 6:00pm

Oakfield Labor Days Sunday, September 1, 2013 Noon-9:30 with Fireworks by Youngs Explosives and Monday, September 2, 2013 10 am parade to 6:00 pm

November 26, 2012 - 3:57pm
Event Date and Time: 
December 1, 2012 - 1:00pm to 5:30pm

CHRISTMAS

IN OAKFIELD

 

(Majestic Lights in the Park and Christmas in the Village)

At Triangle Park

December 1st, 2012

1:00pm – Dusk

Lighting of Trees at Dusk (approx. 5pm) at Triangle Park

1 pm-3pm Santa in the Gazebo

June 19, 2010 - 6:26pm
Event Date and Time: 
June 19, 2010 - 6:20pm to July 15, 2010 - 6:20pm

The Oakfield Community Celebration Committee is looking for Craft Vendors and Parade participants for their "Day in the Park" celebration to be held on Monday, September 6, 2010.  Please contact Melissa @585-314-4501 or Janette @ 585-704-3194 for vendor applications ($50 per 12X12 site) or parade participation.  The deadline for craftor applications is July 15, 2010.

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