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Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Le Roy residents invited to comment on Wiss Hotel proposal at village board meeting

post by Billie Owens in events, Le Roy

Press release:

A new offer to purchase the Wiss Hotel from the Village of Le Roy has been submitted to the village by Le Roy New York, LLC. The new offer eliminates the prior provision that the village loan the group money to purchase the property. The village board will provide the opportunity to residents to appear at the beginning of its meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the Le Roy Village Hall to comment on the proposal.

Event Date and Time

December 12, 2012 - 7:00pm - 7:30pm
Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 12:04 am

Le Roy group makes new offer to buy the Wiss Hotel

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Wiss Hotel

Press release:

A new offer to purchase the Wiss Hotel from the Village of Le Roy has been submitted to the village by Le Roy New York, LLC. The new offer eliminates the prior provision that the village loan the group money to purchase the property. The village board will provide the opportunity to residents to appear at the beginning of its meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the Le Roy Village Hall to comment on the proposal.

UPDATE: The backers of the project have established an e-mail address for people who would like information regarding the Wiss Hotel Project and the formation of the LeRoyNY LLC.  It is WissHotelProject@gmail.com.

Friday, December 7, 2012 at 11:24 am

Grand Jury Report: Defendant accused of burglary and lying to cover up the crime

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, Grand Jury, Le Roy

Trevon L. Armstrong is indicted on counts of burglary, 2nd, criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, two counts of criminal mischief, 4th, falsely reporting an incident, 3rd, six counts of forgery, 2nd, three counts of offering a false instrument for filing and tampering with a witness, 4th. Armstrong is accused of entering a residence on East Avenue on Oct. 9 with the intent to commit a crime inside the residence. Armstrong is accused of possessing stolen property, a 46-inch Hisense LCD TV, a HP laptop computer and two boxes of jewelry. Armstrong is accused of damaging a window at the East Avenue property, as well as a door. Armstrong is accused of falsely reporting a burglary at a neighboring residence. He is accused of falsely implicating another person in possessing the stolen property. He is accused of signing a fake name on a fingerprint card, a witness statement and a deposition, as well as other government documents. Armstrong also allegedly tried to keep another person from testifying before the grand jury.

Earl F. Sprague III, is indicted on a count of criminal solicitation, 2nd. Sprague is accused of trying to engage another person in a Class A felony, murder in the second degree.

Janet M. Brady is indicted on counts of felony DWI, felony DWI with a child under age 15 in the car. Brady is accused of driving drunk Aug. 9 in the parking lot of Darien Lake Theme Park, Darien.

Martin F. Jones is indicted on counts of felony DWI, two counts of aggravated unlicensed operation and criminal mischief, 4th. Jones is accused of driving drunk Oct. 9 in the City of Batavia in the parking lot of Settler's Restaurant and Hess Mart. He is accused of damaging property at Settler's Restaurant with a value that exceeds $250.

Dennis E. Hopkins is indicted on charges of burglary, 3rd, and grand larceny, 4th. Hopkins is accused of entering a residence in February on Lewiston Road, Batavia, with the intention of committing a crime inside. He is accused of stealing $2,000 in cash.

Guillermo Roman Roque is indicted on three counts of incest, 3rd. Roque is accused of having sexual relations with a person he knew to be a family relative.

Elaina J. Mead is indicted on counts of menacing a police officer, assault, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and obstructing governmental administration, 2nd. Mead is accused of placing a knife to the chest of a deputy while attempting to block the arrest of her son, Michael Mead Sr., on June 17. Mead is accused of intentionally injuring a Le Roy police officer with a knife. She is accused of unlawfully using a knife as a weapon. She is accused of attempting to prevent the arrest of another person.

James Smith Jr.,  is indicted on counts of criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of menacing, 2nd, and assault, 2nd. Smith is accused of using a weapon with the intent to injure another person. He allegedly displayed a knife. He allegedly injured another person using a knife on July 22.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Basement fire reported on Haven Lane, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy

A fire is reported in the basement of 8706 Haven Lane, Le Roy.

Le Roy fire and Bergen's ladder truck are dispatched.

UPDATE 4:31 p.m.: Chief on scene reports a house full of smoke, fire may be out, but undetermined at this time.

UPDATE 4:33 p.m.: "Working fire" reported in the basement. Stafford and Pavilion asked to stand by in quarters.

UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: Fire contained to the furnace. Ventilation needed.

UPDATE 4:44 p.m.: Fire knocked down.


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Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Revived Wolcott Street School PTSO meets Dec. 10 to plan spring fundraiser

post by Billie Owens in announcements, Le Roy, wolcott street school

A revived Wolcott Street School Parent Teacher Service Organization has elected new officers, and will meet Dec. 10 to begin planning for a spring fundraiser.

The Wolcott Street PTSO nearly dissolved this year, after the resignation of several longtime officers left the organization without enough volunteers to effectively continue. The Le Roy school issued a call for volunteers, and new officers were elected at a PTSO meeting on Nov. 26.

Elected to one-year terms were:

— President: Julie Ehrmentraut
— Vice President: Ray Coniglio
— Treasurer: Brittany Morse
— Secretary: Holly Eschberger

The next PTSO meeting will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 in the staff dining room at Wolcott Street School, 2-6 Trigon Park. (Park off Trigon Park and enter through the loading-dock doors.)

The agenda includes planning a spring fundraiser.

The PTSO funds or supports many activities at Wolcott Street School, including book fairs, field trips and more. Each year, the organization provides grants to support projects that directly benefit all students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

The PTSO welcomes the participation of parents/guardians of Wolcott Street students.

For more information call Assistant Principal Jonathan Wilson at 768-7115.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm

House in flames at 5 Myrtle St., Le Roy

post by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy

A fully involved house fire is reported at 5 Myrtle St. in Le Roy. Heavy smoke and flames showing. There are still people inside the house -- entrapment. Le Roy fire is responding along with mutual aid from Caledonia.

UPDATE 2:19 p.m.: It is believed everyone is out of the house. Bergen and Pavilion are also responding. The address is between Clay and Bank streets. Le Roy medics are on scene.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: Town of Batavia's Fast Team is called in and National Grid is notified about the fire.

UPDATE 2:26: "It looks like they've got it knocked down."

UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: They are going to bring in fans to clear the smoke. National Grid has no ETA.

UPDATE 2:31 p.m.: Stafford is standing by in Stafford's quarters, in case needed for any other Le Roy incident. Firefighters on Myrtle Street are taking out their tools for overhaul.

UPDATE 2:34 p.m.: "It looks pretty clear on the second floor."

UPDATE 2:37 p.m.: They are asking the Town of Batavia to go back in service. Fire is out. Doing overhaul.

UPDATE 2:43 p.m.: Caledonia is released from the scene.

UPDATE (by Howard): At the time I left the scene, about 3 p.m., the cause of the fire was under investigation. Chief Tom Woods said when he arrived on scene, there were flames showing in the back of the structure and two people were partially out of a window. It's a little unclear, but apparently they had tried to put the fire out and thought the fire was out. Investigators had not yet completed interviews with them. Woods told the people to get out of the building and they did. Crews were quick the scene and interior firefighters made entry and knocked the fire down before it could do serious damage. A neighbor called the fire in, not the residents. Woods said that if the fire had been going five more minutes before fire crews arrived the whole structure would have been lost and it would have been a difficult fire to fight because of how close together units are on Myrtle.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Photos: Le Roy Winterfest 2012

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy

Le Roy held it's annual Winterfest, which is a chance for the children to visit Santa and mom and dad to check out the local merchants. 

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Le Roy's Winterfest is Saturday - Stroll the Village, enjoy the Holiday Bazaar

post by Billie Owens in Le Roy

Le Roy's Winterfest/Stroll the Village/Holiday Bazaar will be held this Saturday, Dec. 1.

This year's "Stroll Through the Village" will include:

  • Full card business BINGO (10 a..m. -2 p.m.), with prizes
  • A window display contest
  • Children's crafts & activities
  • Gift wrapping at the Town of Le Roy Building and the Woodward Memorial Library, including a coloring contest.

A Holiday Bazaar will be held at the Moose (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.) to raise money for the LCCP and Le Roy Food Pantry, with several vendors and homemade crafters. Also, LCCP will offer a bake sale and gift wrapping, and there will be a visit from Santa Claus (1 p.m.).

A Chinese Auction will be offered, too. (Raffle tickets will be given at the Moose in exchange for non-perishable items.)

The Hobby Horse is having 20-percent off all scarves, storewide sales, and a free gift with $20 purchase; Vintage and Vogue Inspirations has 20-percent off all "Department 56" Snowpinions; The Personal Preference Salon & Spa is holding their 13th Annual Holiday Gala; Java's On Main will have $2 Peppermint Lattes or Peppermint Cocoa; Le Roy Hardware has Winterfest specials including stocking stuffers, plus there are several more participating businesses.

There is a Facebook event page with info as well: http://www.facebook.com/events/536564393037516/ <http://www.facebook.com/events/536564393037516/>

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 11:16 am

Architect shares vision for possible future for the Wiss, and the Village of Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Wiss Hotel

The Wiss Hotel building in Le Roy can be saved, village renewal expert Rick Hauser told about 50 people gathered in the village hall last night to hear his presentation.

The foundation is straight. The walls are straight. It needs a new roof and nothing in the interior can be saved, but it's got "good bones," he said.

And the two-floor apartments on the second and third floors would be pretty awesome.

The total cost of the renovation? About $1 million, financed by the formation of a limited liability corporation that would raise $400,000 in equity and borrow another $600,000.

"In my experience, nice apartments are hard to come by, and in my experience, and again, that's all I'm going on, as well as the supply and demand in Le Roy, and that's more anecdotal -- there's a shortage of apartments," Hauser said. "These kind of apartments get good rent and rent for the full amount. They become your anchor tenant. You are going to fill the apartments."

The first floor would consist of four or five retail or business spaces, in the draft plan created by Hauser, CEO of InSite: Architecture. 

Hauser has been consulting with people in communities like Le Roy for a number of years, but the best example of his work can be found in Perry, his hometown, where he has helped community residents rehabilitate several old buildings and turn them into profitable, attractive, productive mixed-use complexes.

The property values of those buildings have gone, in general terms, from the tens of thousands up to $150,000 and even $250,000.

Every building has gone from a deteriorating eyesore to an attractive, money-making venture.

The first part of Hauser's presentation included pictures of the accomplishments of the Perry community in revitalizing their downtown area. He also shared how a Main Street, LLC works.

It involves getting 30 or 40 local residents to invest in the LLC, either making a monetary contribution or in-kind (a plumber doing the plumbing work in the building, an electrician doing electrical, etc).

This isn't charity. The investors can potentially share in profits.

They could also realize any tax benefits.

The biggest tax advantage would be realized if Le Roy could successfully get its downtown designated a National Historic District (Le Roy is totally appropriate for such a designation, Hauser said), then 40 percent of investments in building preservation becomes a tax write-off for investors.

If $400,000 of the $1 million restoration cost came from investors, each one would realize a 100 percent, potentially, write-off on their share of the investment.

The project isn't without difficulties and risks, Hauser said. There will be critics who try to stop it, creditors will want tenants before loaning money, tenants will want improvements before they commit and no improvements can be made until the LLC has some loans in place to help get the project started.

However, Hauser said, the trick to solving this "chicken and egg" problem is to treat it like a flywheel -- get a little momentum going and build on it. If a bank says, "yeah, we can loan you some money if you have a tenant" find a tenant willing to commit if financing is in place, and keep building piece by piece from there.

Part of Hauser's suggestion for the Wiss is for the LLC to borrow $200,000 from the village at no interest.

The estimated demolition cost for the Wiss is $200,000. Rather than spend that money with no possibility of return on investment, Hauser is suggesting that the money be committed to something that will turn the Wiss into an asset that will help spur economic growth and generate more tax revenue for the village.

When a group of people make this kind of investment in their community, Hauser said, they become the champions of the village that help drive economic growth. They shop more in the village and encourage others to support local businesses. They have a greater stake in the economic vitality of the community.

"When you ask people to put their money where their house is, it's self interest, but it's self interest writ large," Hauser said.

Asked if the Wiss was worth saving when it's not really an obvious architectural beauty, Hauser said he never really looked at the building that way. It's a potential asset to the community because of its size, scale and location. It's more valuable where it stands than as a vacant lot.

"Saving an old building is a tool for economic growth," Hauser said. "It creates jobs. It creates business opportunity. It brings nice apartments that attract people who have stable incomes and is a catalyst for other initiatives that make Le Roy a better place to live. I don't really care about the architectural beauty of the building."

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