BATAVIA – The Batavia Business Improvement District will receive the city’s support when it applies for a grant to assist the Batavia Showtime Theater, 45 City Center, with a redevelopment project.

Council members passed a resolution Monday to support BID’s application for a New York Main Street Anchor Grant application in support of theater owner Ken Mistler.

“It is my understanding that the project at 45 City Center will refurbish the theaters to offer movies and live music, along with a balcony, food and bar inside,” City Manager Rachael Tabelski told council members in a memorandum. “Mr. Mistler is committed to creating a place where seniors can see new and classic movies during the day and where families and adults can also be entertained.”

The New York Main Street Grant Program is offered by the State Office of Community Renewal. Tabelski said she is confident that BID can successfully administer a Main Street anchor grant on behalf of 45 City Center.

“This grant would really push him to complete the project,” she said. “He intends to take over one of the theaters and keep it as a cinema and the second venue to have more musicians, jazz and bands – not just local bands but those that are brought in. He also wants to add a bar and concession food stand space.” Tabelski said she could go in and tour the facility.

“…It would certainly help if he (Mistler) could get that grant through the New York Main Street Program,” she said. “You cannot access these grants without the support of your community.”

Councilperson-At-Large Bob Bialkowski said he was excited about the project.

“I also toured the facility. Mr. Mistler has a hell of an idea, and I think he’s probably the first person here who’s ever come up with it,” Bialkowski said. “He’ll be doing events for seniors from 1pm to 4pm – not just Batavia seniors, different senior living areas like Rochester and Buffalo where they can take a bus and come down…”

Bialkowski generally said that many seniors have nothing to do in the afternoon.

“Everything is either morning, noon or night,” he said. “It would be a great use of the one facility. I think he’s on the right track. I would love to see this move forward for myself.”

Mistler said Tuesday he hasn’t built anything yet.

Also on Monday, the City Council approved an agreement with the Batavia City School District for a second position as resource officer for schools. Tabelski noted that in April the city renewed its contract with the school district for an existing school resource officer.

“However, the school district has expressed an interest in adding an additional officer to the SRO program, where we would provide two officers,” she said. “The school district reimburses the city for 100% of officers’ salaries and benefits, including actual overtime hours worked. We remain responsible for providing a vehicle, uniform, training and equipment for these two individuals.”

The SROs would be at the designated district buildings between September 1 and June 30 and be on site for school events and district meetings as needed. The city and school district will work together to promote safety for students, faculty, administrators and visitors to the district, the city said. Since 2019 there has been one officer in the district.

“The city and BCSD will continue to work together and provide two officers to encourage, develop and encourage communication and dialogue between students, the school community and law enforcement,” the resolution reads. The second officer’s three-year contract expires on June 30, 2025.

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