posted on March 25, 2011 17:24
U.S. Census data has been released for Western New York, and Genesee County has remained just about even in population over the past ten years.
The county saw just a 0.5% decrease over the decade from 2001-2010. That's a change of about 291 people. The county population now stands at about 60,075.
Locally, the biggest losing trend, percentage-wise, was the Town of Pembroke at 5.3%. And the largest loss of people by sheer numbers was the City of Batavia, losing approximately 791 residents.
City Manager Jason Molino says given the city’s size and location, that’s a minimal decrease.
"If you look at the level of services that we provide compared to other municipalities our size - other cities our size - I think the cost of services is less than what other people are paying for," says Molino. "And I think the cost of living here is reasonable as well.
"People that want services are going to move here. People that don't care for the services or don't want them, are not going to move to urbanized areas. That's a general statement throughout."
Molino points out that, compared to other cities of similar size in New York, Batavia is doing pretty well.
"I'll give you an example: Canandaigua lost 7.6 percent," he says. "What's the explanation for that? Canandaigua is a waterfront community. They've got a good quality of life out there. What explains a decrease of 7.6 percent?"
Meanwhile, the Town of Batavia saw the largest percentage and numerical increase in the county – 15.1%, or an increase of nearly 900 residents. Town Supervisor Greg Post points to one factor in that success.
"I think the thing that defines the Town of Batavia is our proximity to the City of Batavia, which has all of the resources that most people want to be close to," Post says. He lists city features like a public library, medical and doctor's offices, schools and downtown shopping.
"Our community, without those draws, would be like every other community in Western New York - and probably like most others in Genesee County," he says. "There's an obvious attraction to living close to the 'hubbub' but still having that country residential atmosphere."
Post says the town hasn’t seen any significant housing expansions or other indicators of population explosion – just steady, constant growth.