Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post tonight said he was surprised by the Batavia Town Planning Board placing an issue over a sidewalk at the Dollar General project in the hamlet of East Pembroke into the Town Board’s lap, but he acknowledged that it could provide the impetus toward creating a municipal sidewalk policy.
Speaking after the monthly Town Board meeting, Post said he didn’t expect planners to approve the site plan without sidewalks and also calling for the developer, Zaremba Group, to contribute $10,000 toward a sidewalk fund should the Town Board rule that a sidewalk be constructed to connect to existing sidewalk on nearby East Avenue.
The planning board’s vote, which was accompanied by a recommendation to the Town Board to include the sidewalk, took place on Tuesday night.
“Usually the planning board makes the final decision when it comes to that (approval or disapproval of a site plan), not kicking it back to the Town Board,” Post said. “In the end, the common sense thing to do is to build the sidewalk, which coincides with our goal of creating a walkable community.”
Post said the Town hasn’t developed a sidewalk policy – “we don’t build sidewalks; this is something new to the Town,” he noted – but this could be the “instigating spark that compels us to move in that direction.”
The supervisor said the Town Board discussed the matter before its meeting tonight and will be continuing the debate, adding that he anticipates calling a public information meeting focusing on sidewalks and public sewer in the hamlet.
Post said that, one way or another, the sidewalk at the site of the proposed 9,000-square-foot Dollar General store will be built.
“In the long term, we will look at a policy and (the creation) of sidewalk districts that benefit the residents that use them, while for the short term, we don’t want to make people walk on the side of the road in the dark for 200 (actually about 260) feet,” he said.
The board passed numerous resolutions tonight, including:
-- Two Eagle Scout community service projects by a pair of Batavia High School students. Johnathan Totten, a senior (pictured), and Matthew Grover, a junior, were granted authority to build park benches at Kiwanis Park and park benches and picnic tables at Galloway Park, respectively.
Both are working toward Eagle Scout status – Totten in Troop 6069, of which his father, Greg, is scoutmaster, and Grover in Troop 6006.
“I want to thank you for your service and dedication to the community and scouting,” Post said to Totten after this request was approved. “You’re on your way.”
-- The purchase of four 2018 Ford pickup trucks – two F250s and two F350s – for use by the highway and water/sewer departments, replacing four 2016 models as part of its two-year vehicle rotation schedule. The purchase of 8-10 foot snowplows that attach to the trucks also was approved.
“By changing trucks every two years, it is much more cost-effective for us,” Post said. “We have no maintenance issues since they’re under warranty, which allows us to not have a full-time mechanic.”
-- The transfer of two parcels from Oakwood Hills LLC, at the Oakwood Subdivision on East Main Street Road – a 10th of an acre tract where a sewer pump station is located and 15 acres covering five streets in the subdivision as part of the Town’s roadway infrastructure.
-- The acquisition of a parcel of land at Batavia Gardens on East Main Street as an easement for Ellicott Trail. The cost was $20,400, which will be reimbursed to the Town as part of the grant-funded $1.2 million bicycle and pedestrian project.
-- An agreement with G&G Municipal Consulting and Grant Writing to conduct a Median Household Income and Low/Moderate Income survey throughout the Town for the purpose of determining the Town’s eligibility for grant money. The contract with the company is for $16,500 plus postage.
Photos at top -- State Assemblyman Steven Hawley presents a certificate of achievement to Gary Diegelman for his 15 years of service as chair of the Town of Batavia Zoning Board of Appeals as Supervisor Gregory Post looks on. Moments earlier, Post and the Town Board showed their appreciation with a crystal award. Scoutmaster Greg Totten congratulates his son, Johnathon, after the Town Board approved their Eagle Scout community service project. Photos by Mike Pettinella.