Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award - Second Year in a Row!
On September 23, 2016, the City announced its receipt of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the City budget. The award represents a significant achievement by the City. It reflects the commitment of the City Council and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the City had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well the City’s budget serves as, a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.
City of Batavia Named One of the Healthiest Companies in America
The city of Batavia is proud to announce national recognition as one of the Healthiest Companies in America by Interactive Health, a national leader known for its personalized wellness solutions. The City is one of 154 companies across the country being recognized for helping employees make significant and sometimes life-saving changes to improve their health. This is the first year Batavia has won the award.
With the help of strategic and flexible wellness initiatives, the Healthiest Companies in America recipients have accomplished tremendous success, achieving participation rates in excess of 70 percent and a low-risk health score for their total population, based on rigorous and clinically sound health evaluations.
The City of Batavia reached full participation with all its collective bargaining units in 2014 and currently realizes a 97% participation rate among all eligible employees and spouses. “Our Wellness Initiative has been part of the City’s strategic plan since 2013,” said City Manager Jason Molino. “We’ve seen outstanding results in a very short amount of time, and this translates to healthier City employees and dependent spouses and fewer dollars spent on healthcare costs.”
Participating City employees and their spouses are measured against an Interactive Health Index (IHI) designed to help members understand where they stand for future risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes. The index is composed of five modifiable risk factors: smoking, glucose, blood pressure, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol – all potential causes of serious health problems. “Our wellness program is all about cost avoidance,” explains Dawn Fairbanks, Human Resources Specialist the unhealthiest of medical plan members cost an annual average of $21,766 per person while the healthiest plan members cost only $310 per person. Our goal is to help each member identify their base line and introduce them to resources to help them improve on those numbers – essentially moving them from unhealthy towards healthy.” The numbers speak for themselves. Last year, 86 City employees and spouses were asked to improve scores related to the IHI, and one year later, 51 of those have improved scores, while 25 have remained the same and only 10 have regressed.
Interactive Health’s workplace wellness programs transform companies and their employees by helping people understand how they can improve their health. Beginning with a thorough health evaluation to identify risk, individuals learn more about their health status through: rapid outreach by health coaches, connection to personal physicians and other resources, and a personalized course of action. In addition, members who engage with the
Interactive Health member website during their program have a 12-percent higher rate of achievement of personal health goals than those who do not take advantage of the online tools. About Interactive Health Interactive Health (www.interactivehealthinc.com), the country’s leading provider of health management solutions, creates innovative wellness programs designed to increase overall company health and actively engage employees to make lasting behavior changes. By offering health assessments that detect risk at the earliest possible stage, Interactive Health has the capability to immediately intervene and engage at-risk participants with a personalized course of action. Interactive Health has a 20-year track record of creating the Healthiest Companies in America. For more information on Healthiest Companies in America, visit http://interactivehealthinc.com/client-success/healthiest-companies/.
GCEDC Partner of the Year Award
On March 4, 2016 he City (including the Batavia Development Corporation) and Town of Batavia received the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Partner of the Year Award. The City, Batavia Development Corporation and Town continue to be tremendous advocates and partners in driving the economic growth that our community has experienced. From the shovel-ready parks in the town to the downtown BOA redevelopment sites in the core of the City, Genesee County’s central commerce hub has grown at an amazing rate over the last decade. Investors and developers recognize this success and have been investing millions.
“Our agency cannot do it alone, and would not be as successful without all of the support, partnership and investment from the City, the Batavia Development Corporation, and the Town of Batavia, as well as all of their dedicated employees and elected officials,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde.
Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
On October 22, 2015, the City announced its receipt of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the City budget. The award represents a significant achievement by the City. It reflects the commitment of the City Council and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the City had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well the City’s budget serves as, a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.
Budget documents must be rated "proficient" in all four categories, and the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award. For budgets beginning in 2013, there was 1,424 participants that received the Award. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.
The City of Batavia is now one of only three cities in the State of New York to achieve this award. In total there are only eight recipients of the award in New York State. The award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting.
New York Conference of Mayor’s Recognizes Batavia for Capital Planning
On May 2, 2015, the New York Conference of Mayor’s (NYCOM) recognized the City of Batavia with a Local Government Achievement Award for its Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Renewal and Rate Plan that was developed and adopted by City Council this past March. Batavia was one of four cities and three villages within New York State to receive awards from NYCOM that demonstrate a significant and innovative project that has improved the quality of life within a community or demonstrates shared services and increasing government efficiency.
Cities and villages across New York are confronted by assets that are deteriorating due to environmental conditions and normal wear and tear. Without proper maintenance and ongoing capital reinvestment, increased failure rates and declining levels of service (e.g., wastewater backups, water service interruptions) will inevitably result. Many communities, particularly in Western and Central New York, have also seen a considerable reduction in water consumption during recent years. Unfortunately, this trend results in diminished revenues and puts pressure on water and wastewater rates.
The City of Batavia developed an Infrastructure Renewal and Rate Plan that identifies the City’s water and wastewater capital needs and associated revenue requirements going forward. Moreover, the Plan responsibly addresses the capital reinvestment requirements of both systems in a manageable and affordable manner.
The City Council adopted the proposed Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Renewal and Rate Plan with this year’s budget. The Plan calls for $22 million of capital improvements to the City’s water and wastewater plants and systems while projecting an additional per user cost of $1 a month.
Batavia’s Employee Wellness Program Recognized as 2015 Harvard Ash Center Bright Idea in Government
In February 2015 the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized the City of Batavia’s Employee Wellness Program as part of the 2015 Bright Ideas program. 2015 included over 120 programs from all levels of government—school districts; county, city, state, and federal agencies; as well as public-private partnerships—that are at the forefront in innovative government action.
In 2009 Batavia made a complete shift in the way it looked at health insurance, and a wellness program was established to influence employee behavior and focus on preventative care. Employees and spouses who participate in the program and achieve or exceed identified results have the opportunity to earn credits to either reduce their health care contribution or lower their out of pocket deductible. The employee and spouse, if both participate, can achieve a maximum of 25% discount on their health insurance premium, or pay as little as 5% for health insurance. The employee health care contribution is 30% of annual cost of the plan.
“The Bright Ideas program demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creatively and capably tackled by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center. “As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, making government work better doesn’t always require massive reforms and huge budgets. Indeed, we are seeing that, in many ways, an emphasis on efficiency and adaptability can have further-reaching effects than large-scale reforms.”
City’s Strategic Business Plan Receives Program Excellence Award from International City/County Management Association
In September 2014 the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) selected the City of Batavia’s Strategic Business Plan as a recipient of the 2014 ICMA Strategic Leadership & Governance Program Excellence Award. The ICMA Strategic Leadership & Governance Program Excellence Awards recognizes the innovative and successful local government programs or processes that have significantly affected a local government organization’s culture or strategic direction.
The City’s Strategic Business Plan focuses seven Strategic Priorities: Financial Health, Government Efficiency, Economic Development and Job Creation, Neighborhood Revitalization, Environmental Sustainability, Public Safety and Healthy & Involved Community Members. Within the Strategic Priorities are 24 Key Intended Outcomes used for measuring sustainable results. ICMA recognized the City of Batavia's program through several activities that took place in conjunction with the 100th Annual Conference in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County, NC, September 14-17, 2014.
Moody’s Upgrades City of Batavia Bond Rating from A2 to A1
In the spring of 2011, the City Council adopted its Strategic Plan for 2011-2013 recognizing Financial Health as a strategic priority. The commitment to improving the City’s bond rating over the next 5-7 years was identified as an outcome under this priority. In July 2012, Moody’s Investors Services issued a bond rating upgrade from A2 to A1 for the City of Batavia. “An improved bond rating allows the City to borrow money at a lower cost, and is a testament and recognition to the City’s improved financial management and budget turnaround” said City Manager Jason Molino. “This upgrade is the result of hard work and sacrifice by management, staff and all our employees. City Council is appreciative of their efforts” said City Council President Tim Buckley.