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CITY COUNCIL CONFIRMS GENESEE WATER VOTE

The Batavia City Council late Monday night once again gave the go-ahead for the city to participate in a Genesee County water-distribution system.

The vote -- the ninth time the Council has acted on the plan in 13 months -- was 5-4.

Monday's vote was actually a revote of a questionable vote taken last month.

After Councilwoman Christine M. Fix was taken to the hospital with chest pains, she broke a 4-4 tie on the issue, casting the deciding vote from the hospital via speaker phone.

Some questioned whether her vote was legal, prompting Monday's revote.

The pact was originally approved by the Council in January 2000. However, a companion city-county operations and maintenance agreement had to undergo several changes. A final version -- agreeable to both city and county officials -- was approved by the Genesee County Legislature two weeks ago.

In other late-night action, the Council rejected selling five vacant retail sites in the Genesee Country Mall. The vote was 4-4, with one abstention. Six votes would have been needed to sell the city property.

The mall, completed in late 1976, has lost many of its retail tenants and replaced some with health-related services. Other stores had been taken over by the city through tax foreclosure proceedings.

Dr. Mitchell Chess of Rochester wanted to buy the five city-owned sites for $50,000 to expand Lake Plains Dialysis, now a mall occupant.

The sale to Chess, who once worked at St. Jerome Hospital, was opposed by United Memorial Medical Center.

Hospital officials have said Chess' proposed radiology service would seriously harm one of the hospital's few profitable departments.

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