The outcry against a proposed arch, to be built in downtown Batavia, has been significant.
The arch is set to be built at the entry of the newly reconstructed North River Street. Controversy has surrounded the cost. The arch originally was expected to cost about $50,000. But that cost has increased significantly, and after addressing safety concerns and the cost of lighting the arch, the estimated cost is now between $112,000 and $117,000.
After the Batavia City Council voted to approve the arch, a group of residents rallied against it, staging a protest. That got the attention of Batavia 3rd Ward Alderman Dan Chanzit, who voted for the arch but has since said he regrets the vote. Chanzit said it is important that city officials connect better with residents. And at Monday’s City Council meeting, he asked council members whether they would reconsider the arch contract.
They said no. And, though we understand the outcry, we agree with the decision, believing the issue doesn’t reach a level that would result in such a drastic action. In fact, long-serving officials in the city can’t remember it happening at such a late stage.
The Batavia City Council voted on the issue. Circumstances haven’t changed significantly, and work already has begun.
Residents can hold aldermen accountable in elections. And in the April 9 election, residents voted out three incumbent aldermen, who had been on the council for 32, 18 and eight years, respectively. But those three aldermen were in place when the decision was made, and their vote should not be undone.