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Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Smoke reported coming from an apartment on East Main Street, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy

Le Roy fire is responding to a report of smoke coming from the second story apartment at 27 E. Main St.

A second call reports it may be coming from a grill.

Le Roy ambulance and Bergen fire also responding.

UPDATE 9:34 p.m.: Call downgraded to one engine from Le Roy only.

UPDATE 9:27 p.m.: Le Roy fire back in service.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Accident with injuries reported on West Main Street Road, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported in the area 6852 W. Main Street Road, Le Roy.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m.: Mercy EMS also responding. Route 5 is being closed to eastbound traffic at Bater Road.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 8:27 am

Frost Ridge announces date change for John Michael Montgomery

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, entertainment, Frost Ridge, Le Roy, music

Press release:

Due to logistical issues in moving this concert to the Genesee County Fairgrounds, this event has been rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11th, 2014. If you already have tickets, they are still valid.  

If you have already purchased camping, please come camp with us this weekend for FREE and come back during the weekend of Oct. 11th, 2014 to get the full Jam At The Ridge Experience. More details about the activities for this weekend will be posted on our Web site TheRidgeNY.com as well as our Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us keep the music alive at The Ridge NY.

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 3:20 pm

26th annual Oatka Festival

post by Billie Owens in events, Le Roy, Oatka Festival

Join us for the 26th Annual Oatka Festival! It will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 19-20 on the banks of the Oatka Creek in Le Roy.

  • Kick-off with the Parade: Saturday, July 19, at 11 a.m.
  • Wrap-up with the Duck Derby: Sunday, July 20, at  5 p.m.

Find us on Facebook and Twitter for updates! Or on the Web:

oatkafestival.org <http://oatkafestival.org>

Event Date and Time

July 19, 2014 - 10:00am - July 20, 2014 - 6:00pm
Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:34 am

Melvin J. Wentland, of Le Roy, recognized by GCC for 23 years of dedication and loyalty

post by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones

Genesee Community College Board of Trustees recognized 23 years of service and the unending support of Melvin J. Wentland, Ph.D, a long-term member of the College's governing body. Through the Resolution of Appreciation, official document #13/14-7, the Board reflected on Dr. Wentland's personal integrity, dedication and loyalty to the College.

Through the years since his appointment in 1991, he has served as vice chairman and chairman of the Board, and he served on numerous committees and was the board representative to the GCC Foundation Board of Directors. As an enthusiastic GCC supporter, he contributed to the College's growth and prosperity, never wavering in his concern for students and employees. He participated in numerous College events such as commencement and award ceremonies, athletic and community events.

He is the recipient of two New York Community College Trustee awards, the Marvin A. Rapp Award for Distinguished Service (2001) and in 2006 the prestigious Anne M. Bushnell Memorial Award for Special Achievement.

After reading the Resolution of Appreciation, Board of Trustee Chairman Maureen Torrey Marshall was the first out of her seat to lead a standing ovation on behalf of Wentland.

Wentland is a retired professor of Biology from St. John Fisher College in Rochester. He is active in the community, having served on the Pavilion Central School Board and the Genesee County Citizen's Solid Waste Advisory Committee. He is currently chairman of the Genesee County Planning Board. Wentland holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Marquette University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He and his wife Dorothy live in Le Roy, and have four children.

Friday, June 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Group of Le Roy residents upset with sale of old town dump to company for recycling facility

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy

A year ago, Town of Le Roy officials took a look at 118 acres of land on its books and decided the town really had no short-term nor long-term use for it, so they decided to put it up for sale.

That decision came under fire from about five local residents at the town board's Thursday meeting.

The parcel is being sold to Zoladz Construction Co. for $95,000. Zoladz plans to open a facility to recycle municipal green waste and concrete from reconstruction projects.

Neighboring landowners are concerned about the noise, the dust and the possible pollution.

"We don't dispute your right to sell it," Thomas Ryan said. "It's who you sold it to."

Supervisor Steve Barbeau spoke at length about the history of the property and the decision to sell it. He said the sale was advertised in the Le Roy PennySaver and the Genesee Valley PennySaver and he wrote about it in his column for the Le Roy PennySaver.

In the end, only two potential buyers came forward: One offering about $40,000 and Zoladz.

The lower bid came from an outdoor club that would have used the property for hunting. 

Town Attorney Reid Whiting said the town tried to convince the club to increase its bid, but the club leadership said that just wasn't possible.

The board didn't act on Zoladz's offer right away. Instead, Barbeau took the issue to the Le Roy Business Council for advice and feedback.

Members there, he said, supported accepting the higher bid from the commercial business, getting the property back on the tax roles.

The board held another public meeting about the issue and then decided to accept Zoladz's purchase offer.

It's still not a done deal, Barbeau said, and even once the property is conveyed to Zoladz, the company must still seek DEC permits and get zoning approval.

While the property is in an industrial zone, the list of permitted uses in Le Roy's industrial zone doesn't include green waste and concrete recycling. The company will need a variance for such an operation, which must be approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Town Board.

The parcel is located off Neid Road, just north of Gulf Road, in an area dominated by Hanson and Dolomite quarries. It's near the Lehigh Railroad derailment site, which Barbeau noted the town got an unrequested reminder about a couple of years ago.

Tom Dintruff and other neighbors raised concerns about possible pollution at the site.

At one time, the site was a quarry, then in the 1940s, it became a town dump. In 1979, a fire shut it down.

The fire burned for 10 days with various fire departments dumping water on it to try and control it, Dintruff said.

Dintruff said one local business owner advised against even trying to put the fire out, especially with water.

"You don't know what's in there," Dintruff said the man told town officials. "He wasn't saying it's a mystery. He was saying he knew what was in there."

The land has been unused and unoccupied since.

Ryan, Charlie Miller and Keith Maxwell raised concerns about truck traffic and noise.

Ryan said when he bought his land, it was with the belief that the old town dump would never be used again because of the environmental issues.

"I wouldn't have bought my place if I'd known there would be trucks running up and down my front yard," he said.

The roadway into the dump is just 55 feet from the front of his house.

He added, "Neid Road is already starting to crumble. There are no shoulders. I don't think it's set up for industrial traffic."

There was no resolution to the issue for the local residents last night and no promises were made by the board regarding future actions.

Friday, June 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Le Roy PD asks for public's help to find wallet thief

post by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy

Press release:

The Le Roy Police Department is asking for assistance in determining who stole a wallet from an elderly female while in a supermarket on West Main Street in Le Roy. The victim states that she was in the market between 3 and 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 12, when an unknown person stole her wallet from inside her purse while she was not looking.

The Le Roy Police is advising all citizens to be alert for this type of criminal behavior as it is not unusual for criminals to follow individuals around a store, then distract the attention of the victim intentionally or wait until the victim is distracted for other reasons, then reach into the purse and steal the wallet.

The Le Roy Police is asking that the citizens be alert to this type of behavior and call 9-1-1 immediately if you see this type of behavior happening to yourself or others.

Friday, June 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Le Roy PD warns citizens about telephone scams

post by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy

Press release:

The Le Roy Police Department is asking all citizens to be vigilant for scams over the telephone and/or computer. Recently two citizens received calls from persons pretending to be a “relative” from out of state who was in jail and needed money to get out. The caller asked the citizen to go to a nearby pharmacy to purchase a “green dot” card or other liquid transferrable funds and have the money sent to them for bail.

It is important for all to know that these callers are really unscrupulous and will steal as much money as you send to them up to and including your life savings if not stopped. Further, once you have been targeted the caller will continue to call you attempting to victimize you numerous times.

If you receive a suspicious phone call or e-mail, please contact the Le Roy Police Department or your local Police agency BEFORE SENDING ANY MONEY so we can assist you in determining if this is a scam.

Once the money has been sent, there is little to no chance of getting it back or determining/identifying the scammer.

Friday, June 13, 2014 at 12:01 am

Le Roy residents debate town board over Frost Ridge lawsuit

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Frost Ridge Campground, Le Roy

The Town of Le Roy Board had no choice but to pursue a lawsuit against one of its own local businesses, attorney Reid Whiting said Thursday night during a discussion with town residents of the Frost Ridge legal proceedings.

About 25 Frost Ridge supporters turned out to the board meeting and spoke up during a conversation that lasted at least 90 minutes.

There were no speakers supporting the board's lawsuit.

Frost Ridge is being sued by both the town and two neighboring residents over its very existence as a campground and its ability to hold outdoor music concerts.

The neighbors, David and Marny Cleere and Scott and Betsy Collins, have been pushing the town to enforce its zoning ordinance in regards to Frost Ridge, Whiting said. The two couples made it clear, Whiting said, the town would be sued if it failed to enforce its ordinances.

Such a failure, Whiting said, would embolden others to violate the zoning code and give the town little recourse for enforcement.

"If we ignored the violations, we would be found in dereliction of our duty and we would not be able to defend ourselves in other matters," Whiting said.

Later in the meeting, he said, "We did not act lightly. We did not act recklessly. We did not act without thought. We have a statutory duty to enforce the laws of Le Roy. If we do not, we are at risk. If we're at risk, you're all at risk."

The town board decided to sue Frost Ridge rather than defend its own Zoning Board of Appeals, which determined in 1978 and again 2013 that Frost Ridge was an existing, nonconforming use and permissible under the town's law.

Supervisor Steve Barbeau (second photo) said the ZBA overstepped its authority by making those determinations.

"The issue of whether something is grandfathered in or not grandfathered in is not their decision," Barbeau said. "If in the 1960s a record of music was played over the PA system so now that translates into Molly Hatchett coming in for a concert, if you believe that's the case, that's not something within the purview of the ZBA to rule on."

Both Whiting and Barbeau made the point that the town board was not criticizing the ZBA or arguing with the ZBA. The town did not sue the ZBA. Cleere/Collins sued the ZBA.

Whiting leaned heavily in more than one statement that the town's position obviously had merit because Judge Robert C. Noonan issued a temporary injunction against amplified music and alcohol sales at Frost Ridge.

"Judge Noonan takes precedent over anything the town board does," Whiting said.

When Eilleen Sherman Dries (top photo) said a code enforcement officer, who trained the town's current officer, told her Frost Ridge was a pre-existing nonconforming use, Whiting snapped, "The only thing that matters is what Noonan says."

At the hearing prior to Noonan's ruling, the ZBA was not represented. Whiting told Noonan during the hearing that the ZBA had been served notice that it was a defendant in the Cleere/Collins suit but chose not to be represented. That turned out not to be an accurate statement. Chairwoman Debbie Jackett has since said the board stands behind its determination that Frost Ridge is not violating existing town code.

The ZBA will be represented by its own attorney, paid for by the town, at further court proceedings.

Late in the meeting, Whiting said the town is just a secondary player in the legal proceedings, even though Noonan denied the Cleere/Collins side its own request for an injunction, granting just the town's request for an injunction.

If the other sides in the case were able to come to an agreement, Whiting said, he would not interfere with the agreement, but bring it back to the town board for consideration.

Coming to an agreement was the major request of just about every resident who spoke during the meeting.

"This is revenue we had and now it's going to Caledonia instead of Genesee County," said Lucie Ann Griffis (Disclosure, Griffis is a part-time sales rep for The Batavian). "This is revenue that not only the town needs, but the whole area needs. It's a shame the town board couldn't jump aboard on this and instead of saying what we can't do, saying what we can do.

"It's a shame what's being said about use, about the town not being friendly to business. I'm a lifer here. This is a travesty that we're losing this revenue based on the complaints of just a couple of people."

Carl (who refused to provide his last name) also complained about lost business.

"The town board should be out trying to promote the town and promote business and not take away a business because of some violation of code, because one or two complaints, and shut something down," Carl said. "The board should try and do some something to help them."

A couple sitting behind Carl said they were from Rochester and camp regularly at Frost Ridge, and have camped there since before the current ownership. They both said Le Roy has started to gain a bad reputation in Rochester because of situations like this.

Jennifer Keys also spoke in favor of finding some compromise that could save Frost Ridge.

"We cannot deny that Frost Ridge is a great source of revenue for our community," Keys said. "I would like to see it worked out so that the revenue stays here rather than going to Caledonia or Batavia."

Barbeau said the town has already tried to reach a compromise with Frost Ridge owners Greg and David Luetticke-Archbell, but at the 11th hour, the owners hired an attorney who withdrew their application for a special use permit for the campground.

"Once they conformed to that, then they could seek out a variance for concerts," Barbeau said. "There was no guarantee at all. It would have gone through the ZBA, then the planning board and then a public hearing and then the town board."

Keys responded, "I don't want to speak for the owners, but since they're not here, it's my understanding that county planning told them you can't do that, that their application (for a special use permit) wasn't valid because they didn't need it. They felt threatened and things blew up and here we are now. I would still hope something could be worked out."

Greg and David are out of town and not available for clarification, but The Batavian has previously spoke to sources who said Greg and David were advised by their attorney at the time that the special use permit was a trap. The issuance of a permit would negate prior rulings by the ZBA and end concerts at the Ridge.

Barbeau said he did try to find a compromise for Frost Ridge last summer and that he convinced Cleere/Collins to hold off on a suit during the 2013 concert season because shutting things down with contracts signed and deposits paid would have been economically devastating for Greg and David.

"I do bristle and I will continue to bristle when people say we didn't try as a town board to do anything to work things out," Barbeau said.

Barbeau said if Frost Ridge had continued with its application, he was confident it would have been approved by the board unanimously and then he was going to propose a town-wide zoning change that would have permitted concerts on any property three times a year -- Memorial Day, the Oatka Festival and July 4.

Frost Ridge hosts concerts at least nine times a year.

"They were gambling (when they withdrew their application) and they gambled wrong," Whiting said.

A man named Steve (who also refused to give his last name), made one last plea for resolution favorable to the town near the end of the discussion.

"This is a no-win situation," Steve said. "If you win the lawsuit, you lose all that revenue from all those people who come to Frost Ridge. "If you lose the lawsuit, you're going to owe the campground all that money, all the while costing me and the other residents a lot of money. You need to get in a room with everybody and work it out."

One audience member kept asking how the supporters could go about getting an item on the agenda at a future board meeting about the board reconsidering its position, and the answer was, there's a public comments section on every agenda.

"I want to know when we can ask you to represent the majority of the people in Le Roy instead of just two people," she said.

Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Two local students named to Spring semester President's List at SUNY Geneseo

post by Billie Owens in elba, Le Roy, Milestones

The State University of New York at Geneseo has announced its President's List for the Spring semester 2014. To be on the list, a student must have achieved an A in all coursework (4.0 grade-point average) while taking at least 12 credit hours. On the list from this area are:

Michael Ramsey, of Elba

Michael Kovatch, of Le Roy

SUNY Geneseo is a public liberal arts college recognized nationally for excellence in undergraduate education and for its professional and master's level programs.

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