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Bill Brown


BATAVIA – An abandoned, fire-ravaged factory blocking development is the focus of city officials looking to boost distressed residential and commercial sites in several neighborhoods.A recent City Council conference decided to pursue efforts to raze or convert as many as 50 properties into useful ventures that would be added to the tax rolls.The Wiard Plow Company, which m…

BATAVIA – After weeks of discussion on goals to maintain services and a low property tax, the Genesee County Legislature is ready to vote on a $142 million budget for fiscal 2015 that is fairly close to the current year’s spending level.County Manager Jay A. Gsell, who is also the budget director, filed a nine-page final report that the legislators are expected to approve …

BATAVIA – The Genesee County Airport’s role in years of economic growth will be capped next year with a new $6 million, two-story terminal as the result of action by the County Legislature.About half the cost for construction of the 7,000-square-foot building was awarded to Building Innovation Group of East Rochester. Other bids covered electrical and mechanical work.The t…

BATAVIA – Genesee County voters will learn the meaning of an off-year election when they go to the polls Nov. 4 and find only one countywide candidate, no contests in nine of the towns, and six local office-seekers – all Republicans – unopposed.The only countywide position on the ballot is that of coroner, and the sole candidate is Thomas J. Douglas of Bethany.Annie M. Law…

BATAVIA – It has housed the City of Batavia police for more than 50 years – a crowded and inefficient space that frustrated scores of officers, past and present.Some rooms are closed off because of a leaky roof and conference areas offer little privacy.City officials have decided it is time for a new station house, despite the estimated price tag of $10 million to $14 mil…

BATAVIA – Genesee County property owners are in for a treat next year – a rare return of real estate tax to levels of years ago.The County Legislature and County Manager Jay A. Gsell, in ongoing reviews of the 2015 spending plan of $127 million, have managed to reduce the property tax to $9.85 per $1,000 assessed valuation. That comes after years of small increases up to $…

BATAVIA – Genesee County’s legislators spent several hours of their weekend reviewing a 2015 budget that could halt the annual increases in property taxes.Anticipated at $127 million, the spending plan received two new sources of income in a possible $300,000 payment from the Seneca Nation, and a new state grant program that will send $170,000 from 911 surcharges on cellph…

BATAVIA – Election expenses were the focus on the Genesee County Legislature’s regular meeting in a brief 12-item agenda Wednesday at the historic Courthouse.With the November election only six weeks away, the legislators approved billing the city and 13 towns the per diem cost in 2013 of election inspectors in the county’s 53 districts.The total for staffing and training …

BATAVIA – The City Council, seeking more competitive pricing, has added “Best Value” to the long-standing “Lowest Bid” requirement for buying products and services.The process would be tightly controlled and subject to a number of criteria ranging from meeting specifications to environmental effects.The purpose of a new municipal general law passed two years ago is to prov…

BATAVIA – The phrase used to award contracts for goods and services – “lowest responsible bidder” – will soon give way to “based on best value,” the Genesee County Legislature decided at a regular meeting Wednesday.A local law will allow purchasing agents to award contracts based on maintenance, durability, quality and product life, bypassing the competitive bid submitted.…

ALABAMA – Work is proceeding at a slow but steady pace to prepare Genesee County’s largest-ever and most unique business park.The WNY Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Plant will occupy 1,250 acres in the Town of Alabama devoted to high-tech research and development from solar panels to computer chips.By the end of this year, according to Mark A. Masse, senior vi…

BATAVIA – Planning is underway for a big birthday bash to celebrate the charter that granted city status 100 years ago, Jan. 1, 1915.The change from a village began in 1907 with a proposed charter that the State Legislature failed to pass. Later, a governor, bowing to citizen concerns, vetoed the proposal. But the 1913-14 Legislature finally approved a charter that had bip…

BATAVIA – The first step toward the sale or lease of the Genesee County Nursing Home, battered by annual operating losses, will occur this week after the Legislature designated the facility surplus property.Requests for proposals will be distributed no later than Thursday on a website and to 30 to 35 potential or interested parties, including private nursing home owners an…

BATAVIA – The Genesee County Nursing Home, battered by annual operating losses, is a step nearer to a sale or lease, the County Legislature decided when it met Wednesday.The home with 160 skilled- nursing beds and an 80-patient domiciliary care unit was declared surplus property. That paves the way for an immediate for-sale sign.The county has provided nursing home care si…

BATAVIA – It’s a dream at least a decade away from fulfillment and with unprecedented preliminaries, but to its creator, it’s an every workday item.The Genesee County Economic Development Center’s vision of a 1,250-acre high-tech business park employing as many as 10,000 skilled workers and researchers is planned for the Town of Alabama, a five-mile ride from Thruway Exit …