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Project Wave

One of the world’s largest companies and premier beverage makers, PepsiCo, has committed to build a massive diary food processing factory in Batavia, bringing as estimated 186 jobs and over $200-million of investment to our area.

The deal Friday was confirmed by the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which has long been secretive about the so-called “Project Wave.” On Friday, County Economic Development President Steve Hyde put the scope of this project, in perspective.

"This manufacturing project is the largest we've been able to bring to Genesee County, since Sylvania televisions chose Batavia back in 1953," Hyde said.

PepsiCo has been breaking ground on the project at Genesee County’s Agri-Business Park off Route 5 for several months now, all under the veil of secrecy. On Friday, officials with Pepsi accepted the terms of a large incentive and tax abatement deal, details of which include about 13-million dollars in tax breaks.

Pepsi is also partnering with a German firm known as Theo Mueller, which also deals in dairy food processing.

The date of official construction is unclear, but again, ground has been broken and moved at the Route 5 Agri-Business Park for some time now.

Audit

The State Comptroller’s Office has released a new audit, criticizing the East Pembroke Fire District for what boils down to sloppy financial practices.

The audit released claims the East Pembroke Fire District, led by Chairman Paul Fenton, failed to correctly audit its own treasurer’s practices or report correct numbers to the state.

Also, the state recommended the District Board repay nearly $5,000 insurance money to the Volunteer Fire Department – a separate entity, to which the money is rightly owed.

The East Pembroke Fire District has already responded. They will comply with the state recommendations.

Drawing New Lines

After weeks of calling for an independent redistricting commission to draw new lines in
New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has now resigned to Albany lawmakers and the courts to decide the redistricting issue.

Cuomo had pushed for a constitutional amendment to settle the redistricting, but now he apparently believes legislators will work out the argument, along with a federal judge.

Cuomo had mentioned in recent days, there’s just not enough time to bring an independent commission up to speed.

Raids

Federal agents raid the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

Dozens of lawmen yesterday descended on Native American-owned stores and swept up unlicensed tobacco products, counterfeit retail items – and synthetic marijuana, also known as K-2 or Spice.

The synthetic marijuana is often marketed as an incense product, which is legal. But many folks smoke it for a quick high.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul tells us, the government can’t control how it’s used – but they can control how it is sold. If it's marketed for human consumption, it can be confiscated, and charges may be brought.

A total of four stores were raided Thursday.

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