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Council to review 'One Batavia' plan

The Dream of "One Batavia" will come into focus Monday when the City Council receives a draft on the potential consolidation of the city and the Town of Batavia that surrounds it.

The task force -- aided by a Rochester research group and an attorney -- has been meeting monthly for nearly a year, preparing a draft charter that would expand the city's boundaries. The consolidation of services could bring nearly $1 million a year in savings.

The eight-member consolidation study committee is headed by town resident Chad Zambito.

Early indications are that the One Batavia would be governed by a nine-member City Council with larger reconfigured districts. The town now has a five-member board.

Public hearings will be held in June in both the city and town. If the City Council and Town Board approve the proposed charter, it would go to the voters in November and, if passed, would go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The present city was part of the town until 1823 when it became a village; it was reincorporated as a city in 1915. The two entities cover about a 54-square mile area. Both have fire and public works departments, judges, engineers, clerks and other overlapping positions.

The new entity would boost the city's population of 16,000 by nearly 7,000.

The town has no real property tax but many residents pay water, sewer and fire protection fees. The city has a tax of $10.73 per $1,000 assessed valuation.

The process, begun in 2009, has been delayed because permission from the State Legislature and the governor are required for what may be the first city-town merger in the state.