Batavia among cities ready to begin reopening this Friday

Posted at 6:53 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 18:53:26-04

BATAVIA, NY (WKBW) — Joseph Falkowski is the owner of Joe's Lawn Care and Landscaping in Batavia. This is his first year doing full-time business and it hasn't been easy.

"It was definitely a struggle, especially when things first came out," Falkowski said about the COVID-19 pandemic. "We didn't know the things we could and couldn't do."

He was allowed to mow lawns for maintenance purposes only. Now, he's gearing up to expand his services to beautifying homes with projects already scheduled for this weekend.

"Hopefully things in that area are gonna pick up now that people know it's safe to bring us on our for that type of work," he said.

Falkowski, along with many businesses, are putting plans in place as phase one of the reopening process begins this Friday. Batavia is in Genesee County, which is in the Finger Lakes Region of the state’s reopening plan.

It’s one of three regions with a green light from the State.

"We are just relieved that we are getting started on the path," Batavia City Manager Dr. Marty Moore said.

Phase one businesses also include construction, agriculture and forestry, manufacturing and wholesale trade, and retail trade which includes curbside pickup.

But despite these guidelines, there's still a lot of questions.

"The state gave us a detailed list of shutting us down," Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell said. "Now, they have to give us a just as detailed list of coming back."

"One of the many questions we're getting is when can I play tennis again?" Moore said. "That was recently added to the list by the Governor. The answer is we're hoping this weekend."

The city of Batavia continues to communicate with health, county, and state officials to get a clearer picture as they navigate these next few weeks.

But safety is still their top priority, all to keep moving forward and setting a good example.

"To say it simply, we don't want to blow it," said Moore.

"The negative repercussions are something we don't want to experience, let's put it that way," added Gsell.

Orleans County and Wyoming County are also in the Finger Lakes Region and can begin phase one of the reopening plan.