Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on September 29, 2020
A four-member search committee has been appointed to execute the initial tasks necessary to find the next permanent manager of the City of Batavia. City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. announced that the committee would include two council members, the Public Works Director and a Human Resources Specialist. The committee will begin its work in the next couple weeks. Martin Moore left the position in June.
The Batavia City Council is on board with a plan to convert the community-owned street lighting system to LED technology and potentially cut costs substantially in the process. Public Works Director Matt Worth presented the plan last night to contract with the New York Power Authority to purchase new street light fixtures for all 772 city-owned lights on the four arterial routes. The city could realize annual savings of more than $42,000 after paying off a 14-year loan. The arterial roads are Routes 5 (Main Street), 33 (Pearl Street), 63 (Ellicott Street) and 98 (Oak Street). The city is expected to give final approval when it meets October 13th.
Batavia city lawmakers have agreed to offer a resolution next month to transfer a foreclosed residence at 50 Oak St, to Habitat for Humanity for rehabilitation. The organization plans to invest between $58,000 and $62,000 to renovate the one-family house, which is assessed at $62,000. Council members praised Habitat for Humanity for its continuing efforts to provide affordable housing in the city.
The Genesee County Health Department has received 3 positive cases of COVID-19 from students in the Elba Central School District. There is one case at the Elementary School and two cases in the High School. The individuals have been placed under mandatory isolation where they will remain until they are fully recovered. One individual was last present in the building on September 15th and two individuals were last present in the building on September 17th. The Genesee County Department of Health is conducting contact tracing that is in process. Students and/or staff will be notified and placed under quarantine if they were identified as a close contact. Ned Dale, Superintendent of Elba Central School District stated that…due to the number of contacts out of abundance of caution the school will be going remote though Friday, October 2. In person learning is planned to resume on Monday, October 5.
No injuries were reported when a vehicle struck a house on North Street in Batavia early Monday. Police identified the driver as 39-year-old Patrick Spikes. The impact dislodged a National Fuel line from the residence and damaged the chimney. The home was evacuated. Spikes was issued several tickets.
Independent Living of the Genesee Region has announced the promotion of Kristen Lazarony to Independent Living Specialist in the RapidRehousing Program, where she will be helping individuals with disabilities in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties to obtain housing in the homes and communities of their choice. Prior to joining Independent living, she served in varied positions in the medical field with several local companies including United Memorial Medical Center, WellNow Urgent Care, and Pembroke Family Medicine.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the State’s Tenant Safe Harbor Act will be expanded until January 1st to protect additional residential tenants from eviction if they are suffering financial hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Executive Order extends the protections of the Act to eviction warrants that existed prior to the start of the pandemic. Cuomo said “As New York continues to fight the pandemic, we want to make sure New Yorkers who are still struggling financially will not be forced from their homes as a result of COVID.” Governor Cuomo first announced a State moratorium on residential and commercial evictions on March 20 to ensure no tenant was evicted during the height of the public health emergency. The Governor signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act on June 30 which became effective immediately as well as additional legislation providing financial assistance to residential renters and landlords.