City points to tax savings and improved levels of service under three-year-old strategic plan
Submitted by Howard Owens on October 29, 2013 - 8:58am
Now into the third year of implementation, the City of Batavia’s Strategic Plan has been able to show the City’s accomplishments in providing residents with more efficient services at the most cost-effective means. In a 45-minute presentation, City staff highlighted several initiatives and projects the City has taken on over the past three years demonstrating improved levels of service and tax dollars saved for City residents.
Several of the highlights discussed were:
- The City’s financial recovery and improved bond rating in July 2012;
- Receiving more than $105,000 in NYS Archives grant funding since 2010, which has help digitize more than 151,000 documents making it quicker for staff to locate and copy documents;
- By partnering with the Genesee Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC), Town of Batavia and OATKA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc., the City benefited from a $4 million cost avoidance with the installation of new sewer lines and pump station under Cedar Street. The public-private partnership provided increased sewer capacity for OATKA to expand while freeing up additional sewer capacity along Ellicott Street;
- Saving approximately $328,000 by utilizing cured-in-place pipe technology, instead of conventional sewer lining replacements;
- Investing more than $1.1 million and improved more than 12 miles of roadway since 2010;
- Improving more than 13,300 linear feet of sidewalks since 2011;
- Saving more than $195,000 since 2007 with the City’s water loss program, which includes rebuilding water meters and conducting an annual leak detection survey;
- A decrease in the amount of time it has taken for properties to become compliant for exterior code violation from 10 months in 2010 to 6.4 months in 2012 as a result of the City’s Systematic Code Enforcement;
- The Fire Department has become one of the busiest child safety stations in Western New York by increasing the number of child seat inspections/installations from 22 in 2011 to 169 in 2013. Also the Fire Department on average has conducted more than 300 hours annually of fire prevention public education making contact with more than 2,000 residents.
- The Police Department has bolstered its community policing efforts by logging more than 90 hours of community policing with both the foot patrol and bicycle patrol;
- The City Youth Bureau’s Youth Garden harvested more than 25 pounds of fresh vegetables 2013;
Lastly, the City has achieved 98-percent participation from City employees and dependents in the City’s wellness plan, contributing to healthier workforce focused on healthy living choices, prevention, and early detection and treatment. Since 2011, EBS-RMSCO, the City’s healthcare administrator, has estimated that the City, employees and dependents have avoided more than $1 million of possible healthcare claims due to early detection and treatment.
“The City has made great strides in so many areas since I began this public service eight years ago,” said Tim Buckley, City Council president. “We have had successful surpluses the past couple years and we have a strategic plan that it appears we are right on track with. I'm very proud of our staff and council on this success.”
Second Ward Councilperson Patti Pacino added, “It is rewarding that the City's Strategic Plan has already met such success in the relatively short time it has been in progress. Long hours of analyzing citizens' surveys, prioritizing what could be done feasibly and financially, and helping set in motion the actual work to accomplish those goals brought together members of our City Staff, our City Council, and most importantly, the Citizens of Batavia.”
The intent of the City’s Strategic and Business Plan is to allocate available resources to best meet the needs of our residents, while balancing the environmental factors that may affect us in the future. There are seven identified strategic priorities that include, Financial Health, Government Efficiency, Economic Development and Job Creation, Neighborhood Revitalization, Environmental Sustainability, Public Safety and Healthy and Involved Community Members. The mission of the City of Batavia is to create and sustain a vibrant, affordable, safe community where people choose to live and work and where, through a supportive environment, businesses continuously flourish.