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Genesee IDA buys into Pathway to Prosperity initiative

BATAVIA – Genesee County Economic Development Center directors Thursday agreed to join an inter-municipal payment in lieu of taxes increment financing arrangement with the City of Batavia, Genesee County, Batavia School District and Batavia Development Corp. to support the redevelopment of the city’s 366-acre Brownfield Opportunity Area.

The “Batavia Pathway to Prosperity” fund calls for the city, county and school district to share half of their PILOT payments to generate tax abatements for potential investors. Community leaders hope to transform some of the city’s blighted areas by attracting new employers and jobs.

Administration of the fund would be handled by the industrial development agency and the Batavia Development Corp.

“Through this fund, our agency will market and promote IDA programs and incentives to all potential projects within the City of Batavia, especially in highly distressed areas and brownfield opportunity areas,” said GCEDC President Steven G. Hyde.

“This is another example where the public and private sectors are collaborating to bring economic prosperity to the city and region.”

In other developments, the board accepted an application for a sales tax abatement of $189,000 from Darien Lake for two springtime projects at the theme park. The request is subject to a public hearing because more than $100,000 is being sought.

Darien Lake plans to install a six-lane water slide measuring around 298 feet from an elevation of 42 feet near the entrance of the park, next to the Lazy River and Hooks Lagoon attractions, General Manager Christopher Thorpe said.

Last month, the site plan for the water slide was approved by the Genesee County Planning Board.

The name of the water slide will be disclosed at a formal announcement next week, Thorpe said. Construction is expected to begin in March in anticipation of a May opening.

The second project focuses on the replacement and upgrade for the Ride of Steel roller coaster train, initially installed in 1999. The new train can accommodate more riders per cycle – up to 36 customers at a time. Darien Lake’s application for assistance put the cost for the two enhancements at more than $2.8 million.

Also at the meeting, the board withdrew a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with The Market in the Village of Corfu. Although the owners of the small grocery market were current with the PILOT payments, the store is now closed and the project did not fulfill the original intent.