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Town of Bergen

April 8, 2021 - 12:43pm
posted by Press Release in news, Town of Bergen, history, geneology, archivist.

Submitted photo and press release:

Bergen Town Historian Thomas M. Tiefel recently welcomed Jodi L. Fisher as the town’s newly appointed genealogist/archivist after a recommendation to the Bergen Town Board by the town historian.

Fisher holds a master's degree in Geology from the University at Buffalo along with a Professional Business Management Certificate.

She has worked at local well-known organizations such as GO ART!, as the DEC Grant coordinator, and most recently, the Holland Land Office Museum, where she was the director of marketin.

From a very young age, Fisher has had an interest and love of history.

As a teenager, she had the opportunity to live in France for a year with her family. While she was there, she got a chance to not only travel around Europe and emerse herself in history. But she met up with family in Belgium and soon learned they had compiled a complete genealogical research on her family’s ancestry.

Genealogy is literally in her blood, and she will undoubtedly bring this same enthusiasm to the Bergen Historian’s Office.

Although her higher eduation is not directly related to museum studies, she has accumulated a great deal of experience on how to properly conduct research, and archival and promotional techniques, which will help greatly in her new role.

In addition, she is currently continuing her educational studies in genealogy and research. Bergen welcomes Fisher to the community, and she says she is looking forward to meeting the residents who may need her assistance.

October 19, 2020 - 5:06pm
posted by Press Release in Town of Bergen, news.

Press release:

The Bergen Town Board has adopted its 2021 Preliminary Budget and set the budget public hearings for Tuesday, Oct. 27.

The public hearing on the tax cap override will be at 7 p.m., followed by public hearings on the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department budget at 7:15 and on the 2021 Town budget at 7:30.

Facing an unprecedented loss of revenues from the county as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board began cutting 2020 expenses this past spring. Board members took a reduction in pay; some personnel appropriations were trimmed; projects and equipment purchases were put on hold.

The moves helped offset a 14.4-percent loss in revenues from Genesee County and 20-percent withhold in various state aid.

The Board resolved early in the 2021 budget process to reduce Town expenses across the entire budget in order to lessen the impact to property taxpayers. All departments were asked to reduce spending.

In addition, a part-time position was eliminated and all wages frozen at the 2020 level. The 2021 preliminary budget cuts spending by $179,189 from the 2020 budget. Those savings were overshadowed by the estimated reductions of $181,706 in revenue from the county and $16,775 withhold of state aid. 

Another unexpected challenge faced by the Town Board was Genesee County no longer providing sales tax revenue and instead providing revenue that had to be referred to as a “voluntary revenue distribution.” While the money comes from sales tax, as the county no longer has an agreement with Towns/Villages to share sales tax, the only way they can share the sales tax is to call it a voluntary revenue distribution. 

It would seem that simply changing the name of a revenue stream from sales tax sharing to voluntary revenue distributions would not affect a Town’s budget, but it has, specifically the budget of every town in Genesee County that has a village within its border.

The NYS Comptroller has opined that voluntary revenue distributions cannot be used by Towns with villages to offset expenses like highway repairs and improvements; code enforcement and building and planning.

What that means is that for 2021, Bergen will have two different tax rates: one for properties within the village and one for properties outside the village. While this does occur in other places across the state, Bergen has typically had the same tax rate for all properties.

The result is a tax rate of $1.56 per thousand dollars of assessed value for properties inside the Village, which is a decrease of .71 cents per thousand and for properties outside the village, in the town, a tax rate of 2.39 an increase of .12 cents per thousand over the 2020 rate.  

According to the Genesee County Attorney and Manager, "this imbalance should be resolved in time for the 2022 budget." The county is requesting special legislation from the NY State Legislature to allow the voluntary contribution from the county to be treated like sales tax revenue was and therefore be able to record the revenue as we always had. 

If the state legislation is successfully enacted, the Bergen Town Board plans to return to a uniform tax rate for 2022. Of course, that will result in another swing – taxpayers within the village will see an increase in the 2022 tax bill, while taxpayers outside the village will see a decrease.

In other parts of the budget, the Fire District tax levy will be reduced by $6,295; the tax rate will remain the same for Water District No. 2; and the Peachey Road Water District rate will drop by about $50 per full EDU.

Residents of the new Water Benefit Area #1 will see their first water district tax bill in January. It is anticipated the amount will be $322.16 per EDU this first year and will increase to the expected $550 per EDU in 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the speed at which the water district approvals and bidding process are occurring. The delay means that the water lines will not be completed until September of 2022 and the Town will have less debt service to pay on the new water line in 2021 the previously anticipated.

“We are pleased to present a 2021 budget that enables the Town to deliver services despite historic financial upheaval,” said Supervisor Ernest Haywood. “We are grateful to all of our department heads who worked with us to accomplish this responsible budget.

"We certainly hope that 2021 brings the end to the pandemic and economic turmoil. We look forward to our residents being able to enjoy all of the services and programs that the Town has long provided.”

September 19, 2020 - 2:48pm
posted by Press Release in Byron-Bergen Public Library, news, Town of Bergen.

Press release:

The Town of Bergen and the Byron-Bergen Public Library will host a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 3 p.m. to celebrate the renovations that were completed last spring at the 13 S. Lake Ave. building.

The ribbon cutting was originally scheduled for April but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While officials will be in attendance at the library for the ceremony, the public is asked to join the celebration remotely via the Byron-Bergen Public Library Facebook page.

The purpose of the renovations was to remove the architectural barriers that prevent people with physical disabilities from fully participating in the numerous social, educational, recreational and civic activities provided at the facility.

The building also houses the offices of the Town Assessor and Town Code Enforcement Officer.

The work included: renovation of restrooms and kitchenette; new carpeting; new electric and fire alarm system; accessible doors; new entryway; new circulation desk; new lighting; renovation of offices, multipurpose and storage rooms.

The project was funded by a SAM grant through Senator Ranzenhofer, a NYS Library Construction grant and the Library itself. The renovations were designed by Architect David Strabel and the general contractor was Whitney East.

“The Byron-Bergen Public Library has long been a valuable asset to our community,” said Bergen Supervisor Ernie Haywood. “Now it is a facility that is accessible and modernized. The public will be able to enjoy it for many years to come.”

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.

May 16, 2020 - 12:21pm

Town of Bergen State of Emergency Proclamation

The County of Genesee and the State of New York have declared States of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The outbreak poses an immediate danger to public health and safety, which endangers the residents and businesses of the Town of Bergen.

In consultation with the Village of Bergen and Bergen Fire Department, I believe it is in the best interest of the Town of Bergen and our residents/businesses for me to issue a State of Emergency in the Town of Bergen, which will allow me the discretion to use any and all facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel and other resources of the Town of Bergen in such a manner as may be necessary or appropriate to cope with the disaster or emergency resulting therefrom.

In particular, but with no limitation, I anticipate that it will be critical to have Town of Bergen personnel available to respond to specific, but currently unforeseen, needs arising in the Town.

Therefore, by the power vested in me, pursuant to Article 2B of the Executive Law of the State of New York, I hereby declare a State of Emergency effective at 5 p.m. on May 15, 2020 in the Town of Bergen, Genesee County, New York.

This State of Emergency shall remain in effect for the next 30 days unless and until rescinded or extended by me for an additional 30-day period.

Any residents in need of special or emergency assistance are advised to contact 9-1-1. All residents are advised to monitor the Town's website and local media reports for continued updates and advisories.

Ernest Haywood

Supervisor, Town of Bergen, Genesee County, NY

April 15, 2020 - 4:20pm

Public Notice

In the best interests of the Town of Bergen and our residents and businesses I declare a new State of Emergency for the Town of Bergen as of 5 p.m. today, April 15, 2020.

The declaration allows the Supervisor discretion to use all facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel and other resources of the Town of Bergen to cope with the COVID-19 emergency.

I anticipate that it will be critical to have Town of Bergen personnel available to respond to various needs arising in the Town. I am sure we will all rise to the occasion to help each other, safely, during this time.

Thank you,

Ernest Haywood
Supervisor, Town of Bergen
10 Hunter St.
Bergen, NY
Ph: 585-494-1121
Fax: 585-494-1372

March 18, 2020 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in Town of Bergen, news, COVID-19, State of Emergency.

From the Bergen Town Supervisor:

In the best interests of the Town of Bergen and our residents and businesses, and in collaboration with the Village of Bergen and the Bergen Fire Department, I will be issuing  a State of Emergency for the Town of Bergen as of 3 p.m. today (3/18/2020).

The declaration allows the Supervisor discretion to use all facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel and other resources of the Town of Bergen to cope with the COVID-19 emergency.

I anticipate that it will be critical to have Town of Bergen personnel available to respond to various needs arising in the Town. I am sure we will all rise to the occasion to help each other, safely, during this time.

Thank you,

Ernie Haywood,


March 17, 2020 - 7:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in pandemic, COVID-19, news, Town of Bergen.

Town of Bergen Office Policies until further notice

Following orders issued by Governor Cuomo’s Office beginning Wednesday, March 18th the Town of Bergen Office’s will be CLOSED to the public until further notice.

If absolutely necessary, appointments can be made by calling the offices. Essential employees will be in their office to check mail and email but will work limited office hours.

Town Clerk, 585-494-1121, ext. 21, [email protected]

Any tax payments or dog licenses can be mailed, left in the outside drop box or with a credit card over the phone. Receipts will be mailed back to you.

If you need to renew a handicap permit, please call and one can be mailed out to you.

Town Assessor,  Rhonda Saulsbury 585-343-1729, ext. 207, [email protected]

Building and Zoning, Dave Mason 585-861-0728, [email protected]

Permits will still be issued but please call for an appointment.

Town Court, all calls directed through the Genesee County Court Offices -- 585-201-5715. Town Court will be CLOSED until further notice per NYS Unified Court System. Please call with questions.

Highway Superintendent, Mike Johnson 585-494-1362

Transfer Station - will be open Saturdays 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  -- call the clerk’s office for assistance with bags or tags

Town Supervisor, Ernest Haywood 585-494-1121, ext. 22, [email protected]

Please call with questions, concerns, or for an appointment.

The following meetings are cancelled:

  • Planning Board Meeting on March 26th
  • and Town Board Meeting on March 24th

Another reminder, the Burning Ban is in effect from March 15th to May 15th.

Ernest Haywood, Town of Bergen, Town Supervisor

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