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Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Photos: Kiawanis Thanksgiving Day free skate

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club, Falleti Ice Arena

To purchase prints, click here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Kids' carnival at Falleti Ice Arena on Thursday

post by Daniel Crofts in announcements, children, Falleti Ice Arena

The annual "Safe Summer Children's Carnival" will be held Thursday, Aug. 2, from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Falleti Ice Arena, at 22 Evans St. in Batavia, will be the venue. Genesee County AmeriCorps is running this event in partnership with the Genesee County and Batavia Youth Bureaus.

Nickel City Reptiles will be there for the first hour, followed by games from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Kids can play 10 games with a $1 ticket. They will have the chance to win "funny money," which can be used to redeem for prizes. Additionally, they can win an iPod Nano by visiting community agency booths.

Call Angela at 344-3960 for further details.

 

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Walton announces iTeen event at Falleti Ice Arena

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Falleti Ice Arena, iTeen, Tim Walton

Local entrepreneur Tim Walton has arranged for iTeen to bring an MTV season premier party to Falleti Ice Arena on June 24.

The premier party will be for the MTV series "The Challenge: Rivals." Cast member Wes Bergmann will be on hand and teens attending the event will all have a chance to meet him and get their pictures taken with him.

The entire skate floor will be turned into one huge dance floor.

 "Were going all out for this," Walton said.

ITeen, with more than 20,000 followers on Facebook, is based in Buffalo and hosts events in nightclubs such as PURE, Infinity and Club Paradise.

iTeen is for high school students only and is supervised by NYS licensed security that have handled numerous of these events before.

"We take safety seriously," Walton said. "Our security takes the highest priority in making sure that it is a safe atmosphere. We overstaff on security, with each one being NYS security licensed or a police officer, and some are even EMT certified as well."

The June 24 party, which will run from 7 to 11 p.m., is the first of several iTeen events he hopes to bring to Batavia.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Lease payments from Firland for Falleti expected to double

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Falleti Ice Arena

The city's revenue from Falleti Ice Arena is expected to double under terms of a new lease negotiated with Firland Management.

Lease payments will jump from $7,000 a year to $15,000 a year and by the fourth year of the lease, reaching $20,000 per year.

Proceeds from the lease, Batavia City Manager Jason Molino said, are held in reserve.

“Those funds are to be put into a capital improvement fund for capital improvements that may need to be done to the facility that the city is responsible for at a later point in time," Molino said.

The city council is expected to approve the lease at its next business meeting.

(via WBTA)

Friday, January 14, 2011 at 11:38 am

ND vs BHS hockey game to be netcasted live Saturday on The Batavian

post by Timothy Walton in Falleti Ice Arena, notre dame high school, sports

topline_BROADCAST.jpg

It's one of the biggest games of the year. This Saturday the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1-2-1) will host the Batavia Ice Devils (4-6-1-0) at the Falleti Ice Arena in front of an almost guaranteed sold out arena. The netcasting will begin shortly before the game that is set to faceoff at 1 p.m.

The game will be netcast live right here on The Batavian. It will include play-by-play updates and an up-to-date scoreboard and time-clock. Anyone following the netcast will also be able to participate in game polls, and get the chance to ask questions in a chat room style.

This matchup will be the first time the two teams meet this year. Notre Dame will be led by leading scorer Jack Nenni and goaltender Tom Dehr, who again this year, is ranked one of the top goaltenders in Section V. Batavia will be led by Junior forward Josh Marr, who is currently leading the team in points.

Monday, December 13, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Falleti Ice Arena: The ongoing debate

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Falleti Ice Arena

Once again on Monday evening, Batavia City Council members debated the future of the Falleti Ice Arena -- whether to sell it, or not; whether it makes money, or not; whether it's a vital service to the community, or not.

Councilman Tim Buckley indicated he's had enough.

The city is facing some big and tough budget decisions in the near future, and the council has a lot on its plate. Enough, he said, of debating Falleti Ice Arena.

“I don’t want to make this out as not an important issue, but I want to move away from this issue," Buckley said. "I want to get this thing done. I think as a council we have to realize we’ve got our hands full."

Buckley's suggestion: Have City Manager Jason Molino sit down with Firland, the management company currently running the ice arena, and see what kind of new lease terms can be arranged and bring that proposal back to the council.

After Buckley's opening statement, Councilman Bob Bialkowski said he's been doing the math, and he believes, all things considered, the city is losing thousands of dollars a year on the ice arena.

Bialkowski said he figures the city has expenses related to the ice arena in the range of $53,000, but only gets back in the neighborhood of $40,000. 

City Manager Jason Molino said there are other variables involved, and some of the expenses wouldn't go away if the arena is sold -- such as debt service.

Councilman Bill Cox said he doesn't believe there is any way the city benefits financially from ownership of the arena.

"What’s in it for the taxpayers?" Cox said. "I don’t think anybody on this council, at least not in my hearing, thinks that we’re against the ice arena that we want it to close. ... I don’t want it to close -- I think it’s a great asset to the city. But it should be privatized.

"We’re talking about privatizing it, not closing it. When you privatize it, guess what, you lose control. Do you have any control over the guy who buys your house, what color he paints it after you leave? Of course not."

Councilman Frank Ferrando said while he was once in favor of selling the arena, he's gotten so much feedback from constituents that the city should keep it, that's who he is going to listen to.

"The vast majority of people in this community like the ice rink the way it is, with the city owning it, leasing to Firland," Ferrando said. "I don’t even know what the advantage would be to the taxpayer in the long run if we sold it."

With Cox, Bialkowski, Rosemary Christian and Sam Barone voting no, the council referred the matter to City Manager Jason Molino to see what can be worked out with Firland.

Near the end of the discussion, Cox suggested that WBTA, The Batavian and the Batavia Daily News all run surveys to find out what local residents want done with the arena. After the meeting, we showed Cox the results of an Oct. 26 poll on The Batavian (a totally unscientific poll, we noted) that showed only 22 percent of the respondents supported selling the arena no matter what. Cox's response: "Wow."

Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Photos: Kiwanis Thanksgiving Skate at Falleti Ice Arena

post by Howard B. Owens in Falleti Ice Arena

thanksgivingskate02.jpg

Batavia Kiwanis once again sponsored a community skate for Thanksgiving at the Falleti Ice Arena, and kids of all ages showed up.

thanksgivingskate09.jpg

More photos after the jump, and photos available for purchase by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

Majority at council meeting want more details on possible sale of Falleti Ice Arena

post by Timothy Walton in batavia, Falleti Ice Arena

Even though there are roadblocks in the way of selling the Falleti Ice Arena, a majority of Batavia City Council members said last night they to find out how much revenue could be generated by selling it. They also want more details about the original purchase.

On a 4-3 vote, after much discussion, and more information from City Manager Jason Molino on the difficulties of a sale, the council instructed Molino to gather facts about the purchase and, if the rink was sold, the options of handling the money.

With councilmembers Kathy Briggs and Tim Buckley absent, Councilman Frank Ferrando called for a vote at the next meeting on whether the city should continue to look at a possible sale of the arena.

Councilmembers Bill Cox, Bob Bialkowsk, Sam Barone and Rose Mary Christian all voted in favor of getting a professional appraisal.

As for the difficulties involved in selling the arena, Molino explained that the city had recieved $1.2 million for energy capital improvements. It was a 15-year loan.

Approximately $630,000 of that was spent on improvements at the ice rink.

The upgrades included; new lighting; an energy-management system; refrigeration improvements; foil ceiling to keep heat out; new exterior doors; a ventilation system to vent out carbon-dioxide from the Zamboni; and a new boiler that is used for heating both the ice rink and the fire department, which are connected.

These resulted in lower utility costs. The city's lease contract with Firland Management called for Firland to pay the city the difference due to the improvements. That's about $25,000 per year for the city -- roughly 30-percent of the annual $84,000 payment the city has to make for the 11 years remaining on the loan.

According to Molino, the rink was built in 1978 with a Community Development Block Grant, which required the city to build some type of multi-use community center and the vote went to putting up the arena.

Since it was built with CDBG funds, if the rink was sold, the revenue would have to be used to benefit low- to moderate-income families. The project would also need to be approved by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

So the money would probably have to be used to build another community center or to put improvements into an existing one, yet it is not certain if the latter would be allowed.

Councilman Bill Cox asked Molino to submit a formal request to HUD to see what the money could be used for and find facts as to what could be done with revenue if the rink was sold.

Revenue from its sale could not go toward the city's loan. Batavia would have to pay the  balance with other money.

The city would also lose the $25,000 Firland pays toward the loan debt each year.

If the city maintains ownership and renews the agreement with Firland -- which the company wants to do -- the city could expect a total of $400,000 from Firland over the next 11 years. That's enough to cover debt service, including the $75,000 still owed on the Zamboni.

In a previous report, Molino guessed that the sale price might only be four or five times current revenue, or between $300,000 and $400,000. City Attorney George Van Nest has cautioned council members that finding a buyer could be difficult.

The city also receives $5,000 per year for five years from Falleti Motors, which won the bid for the naming rights in December 2006.

After expenses, the city still profits $10,000- $15,000 per year. The money goes into a rink reserve account, which is used for any repairs or building upgrades that may be needed. Any money the city puts into the rink, is money received from the rink.

After listening to Dave Meyer speak at last night's meeting, Councilman Frank Ferrando changed his position and now strongly opposes selling the arena.

He said the council was spending too much time on the issue -- treating it like it is critical to sell the arena.

"We are receiving money and there hasn't been a problem," Ferrando said. "We aren't in business. We aren't doing payroll."

He said Meyers had a good point by referring to the arena as "a park in the wintertime" and offers a lot for kids, families and even adults.

"I am kinda proud that we as a community provide the facility and we provide it in a way that isn't a burden to us," Ferrando said, "and we have income coming from it. We are making a complicated issue out of a simple issue."

Ferrando stated that selling the arena is "as ludicrous as dividing up Kibbe Park and selling it as property. ... I'm not interested in selling that ice rink."

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian, who's in favor of the sale, argued that "I am not getting any service from the rink" as compared to the fire department and other services.

Councilwoman Patti Pacino responded by reminding Christian, that unlike the fire and police departments that are free to everyone, this is a different type of service because the people that play hockey, pay to use the arena. So the taxpayers aren't paying for sports there that not everyone plays.

Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 11:15 am

Grants used to build ice arena restrict city's options to sell it now

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Falleti Ice Arena

It's not that the Faletti Ice Arena can't be sold, but restrictions from the grant money used to build it create one more barrier for the city to overcome before it can jettison the facility, according to a report released by the City Manager's office.

After some preliminary discussions with state and federal officials, it appears that if the city were to sell the ice rink, any proceeds would need to be used only on other parks and recreation facilities, or to benefit low- and moderate-income residents.

And how the money is used would also need to be approved by either the federal agency or the state agency that now administers Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).

The proceeds could not be used to pay down any current debt on the facility.

The city manager's report was released to city council members on Thursday and the findings will be discussed at Monday's council conference meeting.

The report notes that before these findings are confirmed, more talks need to take place with the federal Housing and Urban Development Department and the state's Office of Community Renewal.

The arena was originally built with CDBG funds in 1978, and it came with strings attached, including specifying what the city can do with the arena.

The existing debt on the rink is $400,000 and it is being paid by the current operator.

In 2006, the city received $1.2 million in low-interest loans from the state to improve energy efficiency at city facilities, including the ice arena. The operator will pay about $25,000 this year as reimbursement for the arena's share of those improvements.

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