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Group from Holley raises $1,100 at Polar Plunge

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 February 2018 at 8:04 am

Photo courtesy of Jim Di Sessa

HOLLEY – A group from Holley Central School is pictured on Sunday at the Polar Plunge in Rochester, when about 2,000 people jumped into the cold water of Lake Ontario as a fundraiser for the Special Olympics.

The Holley students and their teacher and Student Council Advisor Jim Di Sessa (far right) raised just under $1,100.

That passed the group’s fundraising goal of $1,000. Holley has now participated in the Plunge for three years.

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Holley faculty will play law enforcement on March 2 in benefit basketball game

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 February 2018 at 4:22 pm

HOLLEY – School teachers will play a basketball against local law enforcement officers on March 2 at 7 p.m. in a benefit for the Ronald McDonald House.

The game will be in the high school gym. Penny Cole, the varsity cheerleading coach and high school administrative assistant, is hoping for a sellout at the game so Holley can top last year’s contribution of $2,050 to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester.

Last year Holley sold tiles on a roof of a dollhouse. If people paid a $1, they could write a message on a tile of a large dollhouse that was also donated to Ronald McDonald House.

“The Little House That Love Built” netted $2,050 for the organization that provides housing for families with children who are hospitalized.

The Holley school community has been doing fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald House for four years now.

“I’m always trying to find different ways to raise money,” Cole said. “We tried to find another doll house to re-do, but couldn’t find one that wasn’t a fortune.”

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Holley pizzeria showcases student art

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: Some of the pizza peals with student art feature scenes from along the Erie Canal in Holley and Holley Falls.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 2 February 2018 at 2:48 pm

Public urged to vote on top two favorites

HOLLEY – Voting continues until Sunday to select the two favorite pizza peals decorated by Holley High School art students for Dustin’s Pizzeria, located at 50 Public Square in the village.

Last fall, Jennifer and Dustin Reisman, who own Dustin’s, asked art teachers Evinn Neadow and Brandi Zavitz, if their students would add artwork to the peals, which would then be mounted on the walls of the restaurant.

Pizza peals are wooden paddles which are typically used to remove pizza from the restaurant’s ovens.

Students in Neadow’s drawing and painting class showcased menu items on their peals. Zavitz’s students took photographs along the canal and around the falls and used them to paint landscapes on their peals.

One winner will be selected from among the landscape peals and one from the food peals. Winners will be announced on Feb. 7. The peals are on display in the dinning area of the restaurant.

This landscape painting features the view of the canal looking east from the village park.

One peal features a painting of a basket piled with Buffalo chicken wings.

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Holley approved for $165,600 state brownfield grant to develop revitalization strategy

Staff Reports Posted 1 February 2018 at 3:19 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The First Niagara Bank in the Public Square in Holley closed in October 2016. A new grant will fund a revitalization strategy for the downtown business district, and other parts of the community.

HOLLEY – The Village of Holley has been approved for a $165,600 state grant to develop a brownfield opportunities area program.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this afternoon announced 13 of the grants for $2 million.

The Holley grant will complete a Brownfield Opportunity Area Nomination for 813 acres with 55 potential sites, according to the state announcement. The objectives include identifying opportunities surrounding the former high school in the downtown core; improved housing and income opportunities for residents; identifying strategies to reduce commercial vacancies; identifying opportunities at the Diaz Chemical site remediation; leveraging the Erie Canal; improving wayfinding in the Village; preparing design guidelines for the Public Square; and improving the village’s vitality.

The brownfield opportunity area program provides resources to develop data-driven revitalization strategies for economically distressed areas, the governor said. These plans forge a path to transform blighted properties in urban areas into community assets and catalysts for neighborhood-wide revitalization.

Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties where known or perceived contamination has impeded redevelopment, turning the properties into economic and environmental drains on localities. The Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program grants have driven revitalization throughout the state, turning dormant sites into vibrant and productive properties that attract jobs and private investment, ultimately expanding the local tax base.

“This funding will help transform blighted and polluted properties into economic engines in communities across New York,” said Governor Cuomo. “We will continue to work with our local partners to revitalize neighborhoods, create opportunity and build a stronger Empire State for all.”

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Holley’s super readers get limo ride and lunch off-campus

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 24 January 2018 at 5:29 pm

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

HOLLEY – A group of Holley Elementary students were treated to a limo ride and lunch at McDonald’s in Brockport today. The students were all winners in this year’s PARP – Pick a Reading Partner – program sponsored by the PTSA.

This year’s winners include:  Leon King, William Butler, Calista Maggard, Peyton Caufield, Mason Girangaya, Bella Hernandez, Alyssa Lipke, Liam Jenks, Zach Fichtner, Laura Moak, Stephanie Miles, Cora Hudzinski, Carter McGuire and Bella Thom.

A group of Holley Elementary students prepares to head out for their limo ride to lunch at McDonalds in Brockport today.

PARP winners enter the limo. Several said they planned on ordering chicken nuggets for lunch.

The limo prepares to leave Holley Elementary School.

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Holley students celebrate reading and rally behind grad who wants to run again

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: The bleachers in the Holley Elementary intermediate gym are usually red for the Holley Hawks, but Friday afternoon they were a sea of blue as students gathered for the Pick a Reading Partner (PARP) assembly.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 20 January 2018 at 10:10 am

Sierra Mendes had a leg amputated due to injuries from a serious car accident

Sierra Mendes

HOLLEY – The Holley Elementary School celebrated students’ reading achievements during a high-energy assembly on Friday and also introduced students to a recent graduate.

Sierra Mendes graduated in 2012. She recently suffered the amputation of one of her legs due to damage froma  serious car accident in 2012.

Mendes wants to receive a running blade which will help her to run once again with her sister. The Holley Elementary Student Council plans a special Walk-A-Thon on Feb. 8 to raise funds for the running blade.

Elementary Student Council faculty advisor Sally Martin introduced Sierra to students Friday afternoon during the annual Pick A Reading Partner (PARP) assembly.

Martin explained to students that Sierra was involved in a serious car accident five years ago and suffered severe injuries to her legs. Her right leg continued to cause her so much pain, she decided to undergo an amputation, and now has a metal leg which allows her to do almost everything except run, an activity she used to love to do with her sister.

Sierra now lives in Rochester and told Orleans Hub that Holley faculty reached out to her after she started a Go Fund Me account.

“Everyone has been so supportive,” Sierra said. “I loved running and have missed it, it would feel like a personal triumph to be able to run again.”

Pre-K students hold up letters that spell out READING.  Students were told they all have a talent for reading. Behind the students are Grace Azzolino, children’s librarian at the Holley Community free library, and Sierra Mendes.

In addition to the upcoming Walk-A-Thon, Martin said collection containers for donations have been placed at local businesses for Sierra.

The Holley grad also talked to students about the importance of reading, as the PARP program promotes literacy. She said until she was about 14 years old, she read everyday – all the time.

“The time I have spent reading is what I treasure most,” she said. “If you love to read you will never be bored and you will never be lonely.”

The assembly included games. Kindergarteners, 1st and 2nd graders participated in the “Relay Read” race, while 3rd and 4th graders took part in the “Slide and Read” race, and 5th and 6th graders participated in the “Toss and Read” competition.

Students selected for the annual PARP limo ride to McDonald’s for lunch.  Two students from each grade in grades K-6 will take a ride in limo next Wednesday for lunch at McDonald’s. Two pre-K students were also chosen. They will join principal Karri Schiavone for a special treat at a time to be determined.

The Holley PTSA sponsors the PARP program and this year they provided T-shirts for all students. Art students at Holley High School were asked to submit designs for the shirt.  The design of Andrea Payne, a 12th grader, was chosen.

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Murray raises water rates for customers in Holley and Kendall

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 10 January 2018 at 4:27 pm

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Town Supervisor Robert Miller oversees his first Town Board meeting on Tuesday evening.  Town Clerk Cindy Oliver is at left and Town Attorney Jeff Martin is on the right.

MURRAY – Town Board members held their organizational meeting on Tuesday. It was the first meeting for Robert Miller in his official role as town supervisor. Michael Mele, who was elected to the Town Board in November, also is now serving on the board.

Town Board members voted to increase water rates for Kendall (Peter Smith Road) and the Village of Holley.

Ed Morgan, the town’s highway and water superintendent, told the board that Murray hadn’t raised in the Town of Kendall since 2008 and in the Village of Holley since 2010. The Monroe County Water Authority, which provides water to Kendall and Holley, just increased its rates, effective Jan. 1, 2018, Morgan said.

Town Board members voted to increase the rate for Peter Smith Road in Kendall from $3.05/1,000 gallons to $3.50/1,000 gallons. Village of Holley residents will see their rate increase from $3.12/1,000 gallons to $3.50/1,000 gallons.

The rate for Town of Murray residents will remain at $4.50/1,000 gallons, town officials said.

“With Water Authority rates going up every year, it’s not realistic to keep rates the same,” Morgan said. He noted that the Town of Murray does not have a contract with the Water Authority, but is classified as “Out of County Supplementary Supply Class.” He said the town has never signed a long-term contract with the Water Authority because that would allow the Authority to dictate how the Murray system is run.

The new Monroe County Water Authority rate schedule raises the rate the town pays for water from $3.25/1,000 gallons to $3.43/1,000 gallons, Morgan said.

Morgan said he would notify officials in Kendall and Holley regarding the increase.

In other business:

• Morgan also reported that the town will receive $13,050 in federal disaster aid stemming from the March 2017 snowstorm.

• Town Councilman Paul Hendel commended Morgan and the Town of Murray Highway Department for their efforts to keep roads cleared of ice and snow during the stormy weather of the past few weeks. He also said the Town Hall remained open Friday, Jan. 5, despite the frigid temperatures near 0 degrees.

“The supervisor and town clerk felt they should stay open,” Hendel said. “I would like to publicly thank you guys.”

“We got a lot of work done,” Miller said.

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Holley names interim school superintendent while D’Angelo out on medical leave

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 9 January 2018 at 2:29 pm

HOLLEY – Holley Central School Board of Education President Brenda Swanger Monday evening introduced the district’s interim superintendent, John Schiess, during the regular monthly meeting of the board.

Schiess was appointed to the post during a special meeting on Jan. 2, and will serve while Superintendent Robert D’Angelo is out on extended medical leave.

Swanger told Orleans Hub that D’Angelo’s medical condition arose suddenly and the board is grateful that Schiess accepted the interim post.  She said she expects D’Angelo to be on medical leave until sometime in February.

Schiess is a retired assistant superintendent for Human Resources at Pittsford Central School. His career in education has spanned more than 35 years. He currently works as an education consultant and most recently has served as interim assistant superintendent for Monroe #1 BOCES.

Additionally, Schiess has served as adjunct faculty at Monroe Community College and the University of Rochester.

“I’ve really enjoyed my first week,” Schiess told board members. “You have a wonderful facility here.”

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Retention of federal historic tax credits good news for renovation of old school in Holley

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 31 December 2017 at 9:28 am

File photo Tom Rivers: Developers want to convert the old Holley High School, which has been vacant for two decades, into apartments and offices.

HOLLEY – Village of Holley officials and leaders of the Orleans Economic Development Agency are breathing a little easier after federal historic tax credits were kept in the Tax Reform Bill.

Those credits have helped make the financial numbers work for rehabilitation projects of historic buildings, especially in the Buffalo area.

Home Leasing of Rochester is currently working to secure funding and tax incentives/credits in an effort to restore and repurpose the old Holley High School in the village into mixed-income apartments for seniors, new village office space, and restoration of the auditorium for public events.

“These types of historic rehabilitation projects require a variety of funding sources, tax credits, etc., and a wide array of cooperation from the community and at all levels of government to become a reality,” said Brian Sorochty, mayor of Holley. “For the Holley project, we are fortunate to have a great developer involved, widespread public and private support, and now with this funding source being preserved, we continue to feel we have a strong application and will be looking forward to the results in the spring of 2018.”

The historic tax credit (HTC) was threatened with elimination in the House version of the Tax Reform Bill, but the final version retained the Senate’s modification of the HTC.

The modifications mean that benefits of the tax break to restore and rehabilitate historic properties will now be spread over five years – instead of the first year the building is placed in service. That diminishes the value of the tax credit, the Landmark Society of Western New York said, but, “it is still a big win for preservation.”

The historic tax credit has been cited as the most effective tool to attract private capital into historic buildings.

According to published reports, the state’s historic credit matches the federal one, so it will also be spread over five years, beginning next year. Published reports also state the tax bill includes a grandfather clause which will allow properties purchased by the end of this year to be rehabilitated by 2019 under the old tax rules.

The old Holley High School sits in a prominent location at the intersection of Routes 237 and 31 in the village. The school was built in 1931 and closed in 1975. It was then used by a private manufacturing company, but has been vacant for about two decades.

Developers are seeking $7-8 million in tax incentives and $3 million in low interest loans for the $17 million renovation project.

The Orleans EDA said another project under consideration in the county also would benefit from the tax credits. The historic downtown districts also would likely be eligible for the credits if a developer pursued a project in the future.

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Holley fire ruled accidental

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 December 2017 at 10:41 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – A fire that destroyed a barn, camper and pickup truck this afternoon in Holley has been ruled accidental, Holley Police Chief Roland Nenni said.

Steve and Alissa Cole weren’t home when a fire broke out at their property at about 3:30 p.m. at 31 North Main St.

Dark smoke could be seen from more than 10 miles away. Several fire departments were on scene to battle the blaze.

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