New York State is ready to enact the nation's first gun control measure since the shooting tragedy in Connecticut last month.
A tentative deal with state lawmakers announced late yesterday would further restrict ownership of assault weapons and refine mental health laws.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says it's the most comprehensive gun control package in the nation:
"Mental health professionals will be required to report dangerous patients, people who say they, people who the mental health professional believes are a danger to themselves or others."
The State Senate approved the bill late yesterday by a vote of 43 to 18. The Assembly is expected to follow suit today.
We now know what next year’s tentative City of Batavia budget looks like and it contains some significant changes in the way the city does business.
Most notably, the budget calls for the adoption of a garbage user fee system that charges every single family homeowner a fee of between
$169 and $198 a year. The fee is based on the size of a plastic tote that you select to use.
City management calls it a more equitable system. All users of the trash system pay for it, including non-profit agencies that are currently exempt from paying property taxes.
The garbage user fee will proportionately reduce the property tax rate.
The new trash system movedcity hall to bid out the contract for garbage pick-up. That work had been done by the Genesee ARC for almost 30 years.
The apparent low bidder for the job is Allied/Republic, a for profit company based in Phoenix, Arizona.
ARC Executive Director Donna Saskowski talks about the loss of the contract:
"I will have to lay off between 8 and 10 people.The agency will loose $800,000 in revenue, and we will have to find different jobs for the people with disabilities."
Saskowski said half of those displaced by the loss of the city contract are persons with developmental disabilities.
City Manager Jason Molino said, it’s nothing against the ARC, its just business:
"My job is to put together the best budget and the best operation I can and to find the most valuable service at the most cost effective means. We have had a great partnership with the ARC for 29 years. Changes in this (trash) industry have created certain efficiencies that may be difficult for them (ARC) to continue on."
The garbage system is expected to be rolled out this summer.
The city budget also calls for changes in the police department.
The three Batavia Police lieutenant positions are being eliminated.
The three lieutenants currently on the job will all retire by the end of March.
If they didn’t accept the retirement, they would have been demoted to sergeant.
The new police structure adds two police officers, one sergeant and a new Deputy Chief.
Last February, the council took a vote to increase their pay on April 1st of this year.
The money for the pay raise is included in the budget.
The pay raise will take council people from $2,000 a year to $3,500.
Ward 4 Councilman Pier Cipollone said he would likely vote against the raise:
"I personally don't think it's needed (the pay raise). I'm not here for the money.It's not that big a deal. I personally would not vote for it."
Last February, however, Cipollone voted in favor of the increase.
The only way it could be voted down now is to reject the entire budget or remove the pay raise allocation and vote on it separately.
Ward 2 Councilwoman Patti Pacino also said last night she too would not support a pay raise, but she was one of the yes votes last February.
A LeRoy woman who pleaded guilty to a charge related to breaking into the home of a person she knew and trashing the place, has been sentenced to six months in jail.
45-year-old Karen Stone of Elm Street, LeRoy, pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary at the end of October.
She was also ordered to pay almost $162,000 in restitution.
A Rochester man with multiple run-ins with the law was sentenced to 1-to-3 years in state prison.
23-year-old Benjamin Santiago Jr. formerly of North Lyon Street, Batavia, was arrested in October on warrants for second-degree bail jumping and criminal possession of a controlled substance.