County forgives $75K in back taxes to help develop old Holley High School

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 July 2016 at 6:13 pm
Old Holley High School

File Photo by Tom Rivers –The old Holley High School is being eyed by a developer for senior apartments. The Orleans County Legislature on Wednesday agreed to forgive back taxes.

HOLLEY – Orleans County legislators on Wednesday forgave $75,421 in back taxes for the old Holley High School, hoping that tax relief can help a prospective developer revive the site and turn it into senior housing and offices.

Home Leasing, LLC, is eyeing the site for senior housing apartments as well as office space for the Village of Holley.

The former school at 1 Wright Street has been vacant for about two decades. The school was built in 1931 at the corner of routes 31 and 237. It is one of the most prominent buildings in Holley.

It was last used by Liftec Manufacturing, which went bankrupt. Liftec’s owner and his wife are both now deceased.

The site hasn’t generated local taxes since 2002. The county will often acquire buildings when taxes aren’t paid after several years, but the county hasn’t taken ownership of the former school because county officials didn’t want that liability on the county.

Local government leaders have been trying to find a solution for the building for many years. The site was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, making the developer eligible for tax credits for 40 percent of the project’s rehabilitation costs.

“It’s going to be great for the east end of the county,” Legislator Lynne Johnson said in supporting the resolution to forgive the taxes.

Legislature Chairman David Callard said there is still a lot of work to do to make the project a reality.

“It’s still not a done deal,” he said. “It will be a wonderful project if it comes to fruition.”