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Batavia task force gets OK to begin work

BATAVIA – The Vibrant Batavia Task Force was given the go-ahead by the City Council at a conference meeting Monday.

As part of a Community Improvement Plan approved by the Council two months ago, the nine member task force will, over the next three years, study four areas: economic development, marketing the city, and neighborhood “spirit and restoration.”

The Council authorized the transfer of $45,000 from last year’s contingency fund to pursue those goals. It also asked the task force to commit to coming up with up to $22,000 in its first year through fundraising and sponsorships.

The Council also learned details of two major construction projects. The $3 million reconstruction of Cedar Street, a major connection between State Routes 5 and 63, will begin this year. The winning bidder will start construction in early July and finish by May 31, 2014.

Federal and state funding will cover about $2.5 million, with the city’s share estimated at $153,000.

Part of the work will raise a railroad bridge and lower the roadway to accommodate large trucks. Several trucks have struck the bridge deck in recent years.

A second project will replace a sewer line on upper Tracy Avenue and Hart Street. The roadway then will be resurfaced and sidewalks rebuilt. Work is to begin in late June and continue all summer.