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Friday, February 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Task force learns there are no ideal locations for new Batavia PD headquarters

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD

The third of five meetings for the Police Facilities Task Force had members looking at drawings and maps and thinking about traffic patterns, parking and floodplains.

The committee reviewed the proposed sites for a new police station, looked at the options for remodeling the current location -- the old Brisbane Mansion -- and asked why a variety other locations in the city weren't considered.

The task of the task force is to come up with a recommendation for the City Council by July 1.

They meet next on March 10 to look at financing options.

Their virtual tour of potential locations started at 56 Ellicott St., the former Santy Tires location.

Advantages include access to Ellicott Street and Evans Street (a driveway would extend along the north side of the Salvation Army building), high visibility Downtown and the opportunity for all new construction.

The downsides include being in the floodplain (though, by a slight margin, the highest of the sites in floodplains), some level of environmental remediation because of the former auto repair shop and gas stations, and proximity to the Della Penna property.

The Della Penna property itself has been taken off the list because the lot size is slightly too small and it will require significant environmental remediation.

Next up was the Salvation Army building on Jackson Street.

The location is not as visible as 56 Ellicott, but not entirely hidden either. It's also in the floodplain, but would offer a good configuration for the actual building as providing separate parking for police and civilians with separate access points.

The current building is not suitable for retrofitting to meet the needs of a modern police headquarters, so would need to be torn down and a new building constructed.

Another location for a new building is 165 Evans St.

The location would offer a lot of space, but it also creates a lot of problems. It would eliminate the current parking for Falleti Ice Arena, forcing new parking behind the building and perhaps changing the primary entrance for the rink to the back of the building or the north side.

"We've identified that there was a parking issue with the ice rink and that we would need to reconfigure it, but we didn't come up with a solution," City Manager Jason Molino said.

There's a seven-acre lot behind that location and Molino said the city is getting some serious interest in redeveloping that land.

Also under consideration is co-locating with the Sheriff's Office on Park Road.

This is not the clear win advocates of shared services might think. One of the big cost drivers (making it a very expensive option) is that the new building would require new mechanicals. If the two buildings had been constructed as one facility or built at the same time, then they could share heating and air and such; but they weren't, so they can't.

"If it's not that much cheaper, why are we discussing it?" Molino said. "Because, for 25 years, people have been suggesting it, so it at least deserves a good evaluation or people will always be asking the question and saying, 'well, you didn't look at this site.' "

The biggest challenge, Molino said, would be for the city and county to come up with an operating agreement -- how costs would be allocated, what would be shared, what would remain separate, and similar operations issues.

The location, being well outside the heart of the city, would also require a satellite office for the department somewhere Downtown.

For the current facility, which is more than 150 years old, there are two options: Tear down the 1963 addition to the facility (the entire back of the building) and build new or remodel the existing wing.

Neither option offers significant cost savings over building an entirely new building at another location. It doesn't solve the parking and access issues currently faced by the department and no new floor plan could be fashioned that meets the needs of a small city police department in 2014.

But officers could have an indoor firing range in the basement.

Another option Molino presented to the task force was maintain the status quo.

Such an option wouldn't improve the layout of the building, because no substantial changes could be made.

The current building isn't compliant with the American with Disabilities Act, so any design changes beyond just the cosmetic would force the city to make the entire building conform to ADA rules. The cost thing skyrockets back up to the range of a complete remodel. 

Enlarging the bathrooms and adding air conditioning to the parts of the building that don't have it are both examples of pressing needs with the current building that would kick in ADA rules.

Chief Shawn Heubusch offered that early on, officials looked at the mall as a possible location, but there's no good solution to some of the access issues it would create.

Any location on Main Street would present access and parking problems.

The city at one time looked at the old armory on State Street, locations around Alva Place and on Bank Street and the Harvester Avenue area and found significant deficiencies in access and traffic patterns with each.

The bottom line: There is no easy answer to the question of where Batavia should house its police force.

Top photo: John S. Brice, architect, Geddis Architects, who facilitated the discussion. Bottom photo: City Manager Jason Molino.

Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Law and Order: Man in trouble for pictures posted to social media site

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, byron, crime

Stephen J. Turkasz, 24, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Turkasz is accused of posting photos of people who are the subject of a protective order on a social media Web site, in alleged violation of the order of protection.

Malcolm A. Kea, 27, Porter Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant related to a charge of operating while registration suspended or revoked. Kea was arrested at his residence for alleged failure to appear.

Curt Thomas Randall, 27, of Swamp Road, Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Randall was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday on Byron Holley Road, Bryon, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Benjamin G. Evans, 26, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Evans is accused of stealing from Tops Market, Batavia. Evans was arrested by State Police.

Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 9:07 am

Weather Report: Wind chill warning issued for this evening through Friday

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather

A little bit of snow fell on Batavia overnight and this morning, but that isn't the worst weather news you're going to get today.

It's going to get cold. Very cold.

A wind chill warning is in effect from 6 p.m. until noon Friday.

With winds of 10 to 20 mph, the wind chill value will be 20 to 30 degrees below zero.

The National Weather Service warns of the dangers of frostbite and hypothermia.

Stay warm.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 2:44 pm

'Snowfest Family Carnival' at Batavia Salvation Army - EVERTHING is FREE!

post by Billie Owens in batavia, events, Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is hosting the "Snowfest Family Carnival" from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21. Everthing is FREE!

  • Snowman Building Contest
  • B-I-N-G-O
  • Snack Shop
  • Indoor Games
  • Bounce Houses

It will be at the Salvation Army at 529 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

For more information, contact:

[email protected]

Phone: 343-6284

Event Date and Time

February 21, 2015 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Concrete mix spills onto Ellicott Street, slowing traffic

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Ellicott Street

Northbound Ellicott Street is temporarily closed, with traffic being diverted into the center turn lane, because of a concrete mix spill from a Hanson Aggregates cement truck. The mixture is thin and covers an area about 100 yards long. Hanson workers are cleaning it up.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 8:57 am

Batavia man charged with sexual abuse in Warsaw

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime
Preston Ruble

After first providing her alcohol in April, a Batavia man allegedly subjected a 16-year-old girl to unwanted sexual contact according to state troopers in Warsaw.

Charged with sexual abuse, 1st, criminal sexual act, 3rd, and unlawful dealing with a child is 24-year-old Preston Matthew Ruble.

Ruble allegedly served alcohol to two teenage girls, one 16 and the other 17, on the night of April 12 and 13, then sexually abused the younger girl.

Ruble was arraigned in Village of Warsw court and jailed in Wyoming County on $20,000 bail or $40,000 bond.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Scouts host Pinewood Derby

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, annnouncements

Information and photo submitted by Marsha Geiger

Pack 112 of Batavia held it annual Pine Wood Derby on January 30th at John Kennedy School. First place was Brien Tyoe, Second place was Shawn Schwartzmeyer, and Third place was Nicholas Grover.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm

Photo: City fire clearing snow from around hydrant

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire

Firefighters clear snow from around a fire hydrant on Clifton Avenue, Batavia. There are some 640 hydrants in the city. A firefighter noted, "I know it's our job, but we can't get to them all." He said it would be great if residents would adopt the hydrants on their streets and help keep them clear of snow. "After all," he said, "it's their property we're trying to protect."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 4:50 pm

One-vehicle rollover accident with minor injuries on westbound Thruway, Batavia responding

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

Minor injuries are reported following a rollover accident on the westbound Thruway. One car is involved. It's near mile marker 386.9. Town of Batavia fire and Mercy medics are responding.

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