Submitted by Howard B. Owens on May 28, 2014 - 5:45am
Ben Franklin famously warned, "If we don't hang together, by heavens we shall hang separately."
City Councilman John Canale thinks it's time the various agencies working in the City of Batavia do a better job of hanging together.
To that end, he's asking his fellow council members to authorize a little extra spending: About $1,900 to help the Batavia Improvement District pay for the colorful hanging baskets lining Main Street again this year.
"Unfortunately, there's a lot of division of agencies in the city that are all working for the betterment of the city, but nobody wants to get on the same page," Canale said.
The BID stepped forward and paid $10,000 toward the cost of garbage dumpster containers off School Street. Now the city can reciprocate by pitching in for the flower baskets.
City crews hung the baskets at the behest of the BID on Friday, in time for Memorial Day.
Canale acknowledged that the city funding Vibrant Batavia has been a sore spot for some, and the city pitching in on the hanging baskets can smooth things over a bit.
"The BID doesn't have to do all the things they do," Canale said. "They don't have to put up flowers to make our Downtown more beautiful and more attractive to future businesses or businesses that may want to relocate. I think it would be great for the city to partner on a project like this."
Flowers Downtown are part of the city's economic development efforts, Councilwoman Patti Pacino said.
"Whether people choose to believe it or not, STAMP is enormous," Pacino said. "The ag park. These are all new people who don't live here, haven't lived here, and I'm going to guess they're married and have children. I'd like them to come in and see this is a good city to raise children in and live in. Flowers in the city, it sounds like such a small thing, but it makes it that much more interesting, that much more available, and that much better to come here."
Councilwoman Kathy Briggs suggested the city already does its share by watering the baskets.
Asked after the meeting about the city's contributions to hanging flower baskets Downtown, City Manager Jason Molino said, "The city does a lot of participation and cooperation with the Business Improvement District because we value improving our Downtown and our business community, and that helps the community as a whole. This is another one of those circumstances where we're going to partner with them to do more in the future."
The council will be asked to vote on the proposal at its next business meeting in two weeks.