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Economic development post slated to be restored

The city is restoring the position of economic development coordinator to work with other local agencies in helping business and creating jobs.

The City Council, at a conference session Monday, set in motion the plan, which already has been approved in the city's $22 million budget for 2011-12. The coordinator is to be hired by Aug. 1, restoring a position cut several years ago when the city was facing serious operating losses.

Qualifications ideally would include a master's degree in economic development fields and two years of experience. A candidate also could qualify with a bachelor's degree and three years of experience.

Under service agreements, the position will be financed with $10,000 from the city's budget, $15,000 from the city's micro enterprise loan program and $65,000 from the city's revolving loan fund. Whoever is hired will be an employee of the Batavia Development Corp., which will be responsible for retirement benefits and health insurance.

The resolution says the coordinator, who would have a two-year contract, should "further the city and BDC's efforts to focus on economic development, private business investment and job creation."

The search for a coordinator is expected to start next month. An office, equipment and staff will be provided under the agreement.

The Council also is wrestling with replacing a collapsed sewer line on North Street that serves United Memorial Medical Center as well as a dozen physicians' offices. The project originally was scheduled as a 2012-13 capital improvement, but temporary repairs now would not be cost effective, officials said in a memo to the Council.

The Council wants to transfer $400,000 from a state home and community renewal grant to replace the sewer line for three blocks, and $110,000 from a Consolidated Highway Improvement Program for repaving the street. The city also has money in its sewer infrastructure fund.

Final action could come at the Council's May 9 meeting so the project can be completed by fall.

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