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Springville Village Board to address distressed properties

SPRINGVILLE — The Springville Village Board of Trustees is turning its eyes toward distressed buildings and properties in the business district of the village A resolution was passed at the board’s Dec. 3 meeting to submit an application for a community development block grant, following approval to act on distressed properties that passed last month.

At its previous meeting, held on Nov. 19, the board declared the former Springville Hotel, located on West Main Street in the village business district, an area of spot blight.

That resolution stated that the “condition of the Springville Hotel is unsightly and negatively impacts economic development efforts, associated with revitalization of the village center business district.”

The building has been abandoned by its owner, Brian Rupp. The resolution also noted that the board is not aware of any development or adaptive reuse plans for the building, which currently carries tax liens of $175,423.

Building Inspector Mike Kaleta said that he has still not been granted full access to the building, although he said he may have found a contact that would allow him to get in and examine it.

“We’re having a hard time finding anyone to even demo it, because of the proximity to the Chinese restaurant,” Kaleta said, noting that Hing China is next to the former hotel. He added that demolition would likely require blocking access to Springville Lanes, which is located behind the hotel, and that there are probably hazardous materials to be dealt with, as well, including asbestos and lead paint.

“There are a lot of things to consider, and a few things that need to be looked at,” he said. “We are getting closer to being able to examine the whole building and I would like to get contractors in, to see what can be done.”

Without the CDBG, the village would be required to cover the cost of demolition, not only of the Springville Hotel, but any distressed buildings, within the village borders. That cost would be transferred to Springville taxpayers, to offset.

Mayor William Krebs explained, at the Nov. 19 meeting, that Erie County Director of Business Assistance Ken Swanekamp recommended that the board begin to execute an application for a community development block grant, which would alleviate the cost of demolition for taxpayers.

A resolution to submit a CDBG application passed on Dec. 3, although Kaleta noted that this resolution applies not only to the hotel, but any distressed properties that are within the business district.

The document authorizes a CDBG application for building stabilization and demolition projects in the village, and further allows Krebs to “sign, submit and execute any necessary documents with Erie County Community Development Block Grant program for building stabilization and demolition projects in the village center.”

According to the resolution, the condition of distressed properties “are unsightly and negatively impact economic development efforts, associated with revitalization of the village center” and the “tax liens negatively impact the properties of these properties as business investment.”

The next Springville Board of Trustees meeting will take place on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. at the village municipal building.

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