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Springville officials focus on rehabilitation

BY: Lizz Schumer | December 28, 2012

SPRINGVILLE — Springville Mayor William Krebs updated the Springville Village Board on local revitalization efforts, during its Dec. 17 meeting.

After opening the meeting with a moment of silence for the people of Newtown, Conn. and the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, the board approved a change order for the waste water treatment plant, in order to remain in compliance with the grant that funds the facility.

Village Administrator Tim Horner reported that the Community Development Block Grant for the rehabilitation or demolition of distressed properties within the village has been submitted.

“This grant is for funding to demolish buildings [that are distressed], but that might not be necessary,” Krebs explained, noting that it is still too early in the process to predict what would happen to distressed properties, such as the Springville Hotel on West Main Street.

Krebs noted that, because the owner of that building is not in communication with village officials, the mayor expected that a warrant would have to be issued, to allow people inside the building. Inspectors must examine the interior of the hotel, in order to determine the true condition of the building and whether demolition is mandatory, or if the structure could be saved.

“We still need to get an estimate, for the cost of demolition and asbestos removal, and obviously, if the building starts falling apart, we’d have to do an emergency demolition,” Krebs explained.

He noted that he planned to talk to representatives from Erie County about the tax liens against the property, and added that the county could foreclose on the property, since no developers had expressed interest in taking it on. Based on what Krebs called “a cursory inspection” of the building, demolition is the leading option.

“It’s too early to speculate,” he concluded. “But the important thing is, we are pursuing a resolution to the issue of distressed properties, within our village. We are moving along, but it is going to take some time.”

Krebs also presented a brief report on the rehabilitation and streetscaping efforts taking place within the village, noting that he had met with Joy Kuebler of Joy Kuebler Landcape Architect, PC, to discuss the development of the pocket park at Main and Mechanic streets. The mayor noted that the plans to landscape that park are moving forward, and that the village officials are also looking into streetscaping the main street area, as well.

“We have a firm investment in sustainability and we are moving forward with those projects,” he said.

In addition, the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail Incorporated organization is negotiating with the Buffalo-Pittsburgh Railway to enact the rail-banking of the 27-mile long trail. Krebs said that the representatives from the Springville-Griffith Institute School District had requested a meeting to discuss walkability of the 1.7-mile portion of the trail that runs through the village, specifically the part that passes close to district buildings.

“We have a number of ongoing economic development initiatives, within our village,, and every once in awhile, I like to update the community on what is going on with those,” Krebs said.

The next village of Springville Board meeting will take place on Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. in the village municipal building.

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