FAQ’s

Assessment

How do I apply for a star tax exemption?

STAR applications are available at the Assessor’s Office.

How do I apply for a veteran's exemption?

Veteran’s Exemptions are initiated at the Veterans Administration Office, 3837 West Main St Rd, Batavia, New York 14020.

Building/Code Enforcement Department

What is a building permit?

A building permit is a document which grants legal permission to start the construction or alteration of a building or other structure in accordance with approved drawings and specifications.

Why do I need a building permit?

Permits ensure that construction within our municipality meets with standards set out in the NYS Building Code and the Code of the Town of Batavia. Your home renovation project must meet basic requirements for health, safety and structural soundness. Beyond this, the permit process makes sure that your plans are in line with other town requirements, such as zoning regulations.

What happens if I don't get a permit?

The property owner may be subject to legal action for failure to obtain a building permit. If you carry out a renovation project that requires a building permit without having one, the town can issue a “Stop Work” and or a “Cease and Desist” order, which remains in effect until you obtain a permit. If the work doesn’t meet the requirements of the Building Code, you may well have to redo the work at your own cost.

Work performed without a required building permit may hold up the sale of your property in the future and may also affect an insurance claim. Before any work begins on your home, check with your insurance representative, who can explain exactly what is needed to ensure continuous and adequate coverage, both during and after the renovation.

When do I need a permit?

A building permit is required for any new building, any addition to an existing building, and any alterations to an existing building which effects: the structural design of the building; mechanical; electrical; plumbing systems; and the use of buildings or parts thereof. Below you will find a list of typical residential projects that require a building permit:

Some repairs may not require a permit. These include re-roofing, re-siding, flooring and cabinet installation, and replacement of windows and doors (provided the opening is not enlarged). In brief, work that does not entail changes to structures or systems.

  • All decks, porches and three season rooms
  • Additions, interior structural alterations, finishing a basement or a portion thereof
  • Fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, chimneys and Gas inserts
  • Attached or detached garages, sheds
    Installation of sanitary, water service and irrigation systems
  • Structural alterations to windows or doors
    All pools that can hold 24 inches or more of water and hot tubs
  • Automatic fire alarms
  • Extensions to the plumbing, heating and electrical systems
    Generators
  • Check with the building department to be sure if your project requires a building permit.

What paperwork do I need to get a permit?

The specific requirements depend on the type of work you are planning. For simple interior projects, a scale floor plan will often be adequate. For larger projects involving additions, decks or major structural renovations, a full set of working drawings and a site survey map may be required. The building department can tell you exactly what’s needed.

When is the permit complete?

A final inspection is required when all work has been completed. When it has been determined that the project meets the applicable codes and standards, a Certificate of Compliance or a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.

You cannot use or occupy the space until either certificate has been issued.

Do I need a contractor?

This depends on the scope of the project and your skill level. You can do the work yourself or hire a contractor. If you decide to hire a contractor, you will need to provide their name when the application is made. The building department will then verify that the contractor has all of the appropriate insurance coverage.

Who should get the permit - Homeowner or the contractor?

As the homeowner, you are legally responsible to ensure that a building permit is obtained when required. Your contractor or designer may apply for the permit, but the homeowner should ensure that a permit has been issued prior to any work starting.

Some things to consider when choosing a contractor:

  • Check for the contractor’s experience in the type of construction proposed.
  • Interview the contractor and check his references.
  • Check the reliability of your chosen contractor with the Better Contractors Bureau and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Arrange a contract and ensure the contract covers all the work including who prepares drawings and who arranges for inspections.
  • Before signing the contract, check the drawings to ensure they comply with what you want. Also check specifications and materials proposed.
  • Confirm the type of warranty that is being given, and, on a large contract, you may wish to obtain legal counsel before signing.
  • Confirm whether the contractor is obtaining the building permit or if you are expected to handle the building permit. When the contractor is applying for the permit, make sure you see the permit card before allowing work to start.
  • It is recommended that you make final payment only after a final inspection has been completed by the building department and a Certificate of Compliance or a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued.

Court

Can I pay my fine over the phone with a credit/debit card?

Yes but we require a physical signature for all credit/debit card payments.

How can I pay my court fine?

Court fines can be paid by mail or in person during Court window hours. Payment methods accepted: cash, money order (payable to Batavia Town Court) and Visa/MasterCard credit/debit cards.

* A service fee of 2.99% of the payment amount will be assessed on ALL credit/debit cards *

How do I file a small claims case?

You must complete the Small Claims Application located here and submit it to the Court for processing. The Small Claims Application can also be mailed to you or picked up at the Court.
Please note that the person/establishment you are suing MUST reside in the Town of Batavia.

How do I request copies of case file information?

Please send us a request via mail/fax/E-mail stating what it is you are requesting. Be sure to include pertinent information about the case such as: defendant’s name, defendant’s date of birth, charge(s), arrest year, arresting agency and what information you are looking to receive.

Please allow up to a week for processing of any requests.

The Court is not subject to F.O.I.L requests.

Highway

What if I have lawn damage done by the snowplow?

Damage may be reported to the Highway Superintendent, however crews will be around in the Spring to do lawn restorations.

If my mailbox is accidentally struck by a plow, does the Town replace it?

If the mailbox is located on a road plowed by the Town, replacement will be on a case by case basis.

How do I determine if my road is maintained by the Town, County or State?

You may refer to the “Town Roads List” located under the Highway forms on the website

What do I do if I'm having drainage issues?

Contact the Highway Superintendent s o he can inspect the situation.

Should I report potholes?

Potholes may be reported to the Highway Superintendent.

Town Clerk

Does the town provide trash and recycling services?

No, you need to contact an independent hauler for road side pickup or you can contact the ARC Services Collection to use their transfer station.

When is brush and leaf pickup?

The town does not provide this service.

Can I request copies of any record via email?

The Governor recently approved legislation (Chapter 182) to amend the Freedom of Information Law that requires the Committee on Open Government “to develop a form, which shall be made available on the internet, that may be used by the public to request a record”. The new law further requires as follows:

“All entities shall, provided such entity has reasonable means available, accept requests for records submitted in the form of electronic mail and shall respond to such requests by electronic mail, using forms, to the extent practicable, consistent with the form or forms developed by the Committee on Open Government pursuant to subdivision one of this section and provided that the written requests do not seek a response in some other form.”

The Town of Batavia has complied with this new legislation by creating an interactive form for you to submit a request for records: Request For Records Via Email

Once you’ve clicked the Submit button on this page, you will see a confirmation page letting you know that your request has been sent to the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk will respond to your request within 5 business days.

Water/Sewer

How often do I get a water/sewer bill?

Water & Sewer utilities are billed quarterly:

  • Bill sent the beginning of February and due the beginning of March
  • Bill sent the beginning of May and due the beginning of June
  • Bill sent the beginning of August and due the beginning of September
  • Bill sent the beginning of November and due the beginning of December

What are the water and sewer rates?

Water rate is $4.95 per 1,000 gallons used in 2016.
Sewer Rate is $5.62 per 1,000 gallons used in 2016.
These rates will be reflected in bills received in May 2016, August 2016, November 2016, & February 2017.

If I do not receive a water/sewer bill do I still have to pay the penalty charge?

Yes, you are still responsible for those charges, as addressed in the Code of the Town, Water Ordinance.

What happens if I don't pay my entire balance by October 12 of each year?

The balance plus additional penalties will be levied onto the homeowner’s town/county tax bill.

How much water can a leaky toilet user in a quarter?

It is not uncommon for a running/leaky toilet to use 75,000 gallons in a quarter without any noticeable sound. Put red die in the tank to see if it leaks into the toilet bowl over time.