Quantcast
Skip to main content
Friday, October 10, 2014 at 8:45 am

Host of mudding events in Bethany fails to win support of county planners

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, business, land use

It ain't nothin' but a party, Frank Stanton told the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday evening in his second attempt to win approval for a special-use permit to host mudding events on his seven-acre property in Bethany.

"This is not a business," Stanton said. "It's a party. It's just a bunch of people getting together and having fun. That's all it is."

Planners recommended disapproval of his permit and didn't offer much encouragement for him to try again.

After a meeting two weeks ago, where planners were much more receptive to his proposal but told Stanton he needed a more formal plan before they could approve it, a pair of nearby Bethany residents wrote the planning board and raised objections to these mudding events.

Robert Reyes and Elaine Shell contend Stanton operates his mudding events as a business.

There's a Facebook page with 700 likes. The events are listed on at least two mudding event Web sites. They suggest it's not just friends showing up to run their trucks in the mud.

"Whether it's a trick of acoustics, with him being in a 'dip', we don't know, but the noise level at and in our home is awful," the couple wrote. "Most of the trucks running are modified with high revving engines, have no mufflers, and are extremely loud."

While Stanton tried to assure planners that there are never more than a couple hundred people at a time on his property at 9832 Bethany Center Road, Reyes and Shell argued that as many as 400 people might be on the property at one time and are concerned that Stanton wants the events to grow even bigger.

Stanton said they can't get any bigger because he'll never be able to buy adjoining property since it's currently owned by a large and successful dairy operation. He said he doesn't make any money off the events. There are no prizes, no awards, nothing that would make these commercial events.

"This will probably fizzle out in five or six years as my kids get bigger and things change," Stanton said.

The vote recommending disapproval was 6-0.

Friday, October 10, 2014 at 8:22 am

County planners review proposals for Tim Horton's and Dunkin' Donuts in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy

Developers want to bring both a Tim Horton's and a Dunkin' Donuts to Le Roy, and at locations that are so close to each other even E.J. Manuel could accurately toss a football from one drive-thru to the other and hit his intended target.

But that isn't what bothered Genesee County Planning Board members about the proposed Tim Horton's location.

They were concerned about traffic congestion caused by the restaurant drive-thru being so close to gas pumps already on the Mother Goose store property.

While Dunkin' Donuts -- which was only making a sign modification to its previously approved site plan -- got an easy, unanimous approval, the developer of the proposed Tim Horton's walked out of the meeting with no recommendation from the board.

That's better than a recommended disapproval, which raises the bar for the Town of Le Roy Planning Board approval. A no recommendation means the Tim Horton's plan can be approved by the town on a simple majority vote, instead of a majority-plus-one vote.

JFJ Holdings, of North Andover, Ma., is planning to build a Dunkin' Donuts at 125 W. Main St., which is across the street from the Yellow Goose Market and Gas Station.

The market is owned by Dave Tufts, who wants to add a Tim Horton's drive-thru to the west end of his building. Cars would enter from the north and exit to the south.

And at the south end of his property are gas pumps, and that is what concerns planners.

One or two cars queued up for gas could potentially block the drive-thru exit, plus there would be pedestrian traffic going in and out of the store.

Tufts and Dan Blamowski, with Tim Horton's, tried to assure planners that there would be no traffic congestion, but the argument wasn't persuasive enough.

On a night when the planning board was short a couple of members, the 4-2 vote for approval of the plan was one vote shy of the necessary five for approval.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 10:29 am

Local dairy farm fined as result of contamination to six water wells

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, Lamb Farms, Oakfield

Lamb Farms agreed to pay a $15,000 fine to the Department of Environmental Conservation for liquid manure that seeped into six residential water wells in the Lewiston/Oakfield Batavia Townline roads area of Oakfield in March, according to documents released by the DEC.

The 4,000-cow dairy farm was also given a suspended fine of $44,000 that it can avoid by complying with DEC instructions in what's known as a "consent order."

Word of the contaminated wells spread after the county mistakenly sent -- and quickly retracted -- a boil water alert to all county residents around March 18. The alert was only meant for a small population area around Lewiston Road and Oakfield Batavia Townline Road.

In all, six wells eventually tested positive for E. coli.

The DEC investigated and determined, according to the documents, that Lamb Farms was responsible for manure runoff from Field 367 on March 7 into a tributary of Upper Oak Orchard Creek, and that the manure spread on Field 386 on March 6 and 7 likely contributed to the wells' contamination.

As part of the consent order, Lamb Farms agreed to a number of technical stipulations: developing a new nutrient management plan; creating a plan for dealing with the different soil types of its field; how it handles winter and spring manure spreading; properly designating springs that might be affected by runoff; and providing more details in records for manure spreading.

Attempts to reach Lamb Farms co-owner Jim Veazy, who handled the matter with the DEC, according to the documents, were unsuccessful. It's harvest time and he's been busy in the fields.

Monday, October 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Sarah Noble-Moag appointed to GGLDC board of directors

post by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, GGLDC, Pavilion

Press release:

The Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp. (GGLDC) has appointed Sarah Noble-Moag to the organization’s board of directors.

“Sarah Noble-Moag was selected to serve on the GGLDC board because of her extensive management experience with various dairy companies right here in Genesee County,” said Thomas Felton, GGLDC board chairman. “Her skills and background knowledge of the local agricultural industry will be a tremendous asset to the board.”

Noble-Moag is a personnel manager for Linwood Management Group, LLC, which provides management services to dairy companies, including Noblehurst Farms, and Synergy, LLC. In this role she coordinates staffing, employee payroll and benefits, communication and recruitment for the group along with being responsible for overseeing internal personnel controls and staffing.

In addition to her position with Linwood Management Group, Noble-Moag is very active within the community. She is the past president of the board of education for the Pavilion Central Schools, and continues to serve on the audit committee.

She maintains an active role in education and training for our rural communities, advocating for affordable, quality public education by serving as a board member on the Agricultural Affiliates, which provides leadership necessary to build a strong workforce for agriculture in the Northern U.S. She also is a member of the National Council of Agricultural Employers and New York State Agricultural Society.

Noble-Moag is a graduate of Cornell University and a graduate of Class VI of LEAD New York. She an elder in the Covington Presbyterian Church, and has served on the Committee on Ministry and Migration Working Group (a forum on immigration reform) for the Presbytery of the Genesee Valley.

She resides in Pavilion with her husband, Timothy Moag. They have three grown children.

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 11:44 am

McDonald's holds ribbon cutting for East Main location

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, McDonald's

The Batavia High School band played, the franchise owner made a speech and a longtime local employee cut the ribbon to officially open the new McDonald's Restaurant on East Main Street, Batavia.

Batavia-native Holly Carney (in purple, top photo), who will manage the new store, told the story of how her career with McDonald's started. She was 16 and her parents picked up an application for her and made her fill it out and hand it in. Her mother drove her to the store and made her turn it in. With tears in her eyes, she handed her application to Kathy Eves (top photo getting a hug from Carney). Despite her misgivings, she got the job and worked her way up into management.  

Eves cut the red ribbon to officially open the store and received as a present a palm-sized glass sculpture of the original McDonald's Restaurant in Des Plaines, Ill.

This is the 10th location for franchise owner Harry Schatmeyer (in the white shirt), who also owns the McDonald's location on West Main.

The store made a $500 donation to the Batavia HS band.

Also pictured in the top photo, assistant manager Stephanie Bouter.

City Manager Jason Molino with the Hamburglar and Grimace.

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 8:15 am

New McDonald's opens with long line

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, McDonald's

I got there too late, but Dan Fischer, WBTA, confirms there was quite a crowd lined up for the opening of the new McDonald's on East Main Street, Batavia. He said people were lined up before 6 a.m. The opening was at 8 a.m. He said at one point there were at least 100 people in line.

There is an official ribbon cutting at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 11:30 am

Town planners give initial nod of approval to apartment complex on West Main Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business

Two members of the Town of Batavia Planning Board said they were initially opposed to plans for an apartment complex in an area zoned commercial on West Main Street Road, but after study and consideration, decided to vote in favor of the project.

Those votes were essential last night to early-stage approvals for Big Tree Glen, a planned 136-unit complex from Rochester-based Conifer Developers.

The board approved the environmental review process, a zoning variance and a preliminary site plan.

The zoning variance is contingent on agreements in the final site plan that will prohibit Section 8 and HUD-subsidized rents in the complex, as well as continued on-site management.

Conifer is applying for a state grant aimed at encouraging "workforce housing," and that subsidy combined with putting the complex in a commercial zone were stumbling blocks for board members Paul Marchese and Lou Pagnello.

After Pagnello did some research, however, spoke with an attorney friend and thought about it some more, he decided he should support the project.

He said factors included the solid reputation of Conifer and the quality they're promising for the new complex. 

He said he also realized that as a businessman, if he were expanding or building a new business, he would apply for whatever government aid might be available. Any business owner would, he said.

"The more I think about it, the more I think this benefits the community as time goes on," Pagnello said. "I was totally against it, but after doing a little research on my own, that's how I feel about it now. We want development in Batavia and we want to work with developers who are top-notch, not like some of the others we've dealt with before."

The complex, he said, will actually help spur commercial development on West Main, which is a key development goal for the town.

Marchese said he was with Pagnello.

"I was really against it, too," he said.

Because the county planning board recommended disapproval of the project, the town board needed at least five affirmative votes to approve the zoning variance. The vote was 5-1.

Paul McCullough voted no on the zoning variance request. He didn't state a reason for his no vote.

The board will need to approve a final site plan at a later date that will include the covenants and restrictions it's looking for to ensure the complex remains a quality housing project.

The state grant Conifer is applying for requires that the apartment complex meets the residential needs of people earning 50 to 60 percent of the area's median income.

That's about $65,000 for a a family of four in Genesee County. For the Town of Batavia, the complex will actually be meeting the needs of a family of four earning about $54,000 a year in gross income.

"This is truly workforce housing for the Town of Batavia," said John F. Caruso, representing Conifer.

Previously:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:56 am

Employee now the owner of Bob Adams Automotive in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy

Jamie Merica prides himself on being a good mechanic, and Bob Adams Automotive in Le Roy has a decades-long reputation for good service, so when Bob Adams decided to sell his business and retire, Merica said taking over the business seemed like the right opportunity.

After five years as an employee of Adams, Merica now owns the shop.

"As a lifelong resident of Le Roy, I know a lot of people," Merica said. "That will help. We offer honest repairs at a fair price and we try to take care of everybody we can."

Photo by Amanda Earl.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm

The Batavian now a member of the New York Press Association

post by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian

The New York Press Association has served as a membership organization for community newspapers in the State of New York for 161 years.

Today, The Batavian became the second member in the group's history that publishes news exclusively online.

The first was RiverheadLocal on Long Island.

We're proud to become members of NYPA, which has a distinguished history of serving the needs of news publishers in New York.

Here's a statement from NYPA about our membership:

The New York Press Association is delighted to welcome Howard Owens and The Batavian as our newest online-only member. 

The Batavian is a highly respected news organization which provides relevant local content to its readers,” said executive director Michelle Rea.“Readers should be able to access quality news content wherever and whenever they choose. Content and relevancy are the key, and The Batavian excels at both.  

"NYPA has a proudly supported New York’s community news organizations for more than 160 years, and as news organizations evolve, so do NYPA’s programs and services. NYPA continues to introduce best practices and new business models for print and digital platforms. We’re thrilled to have The Batavian join the conversation.”

Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Photos: A visit to Roanoke Apple Farm, Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, business, Roanoke Apple Farm

Heading back to Batavia this afternoon, I stopped in at Roanoke Apple Farm, in Bethany, for the first time.

Above, Alex Kiefer, an employee, picks apples.

Scott Darron and his daughter Natalya load up a bushel of apples. Darron said he was planning on making pies.

Premium Drupal Themes