County forgives back interest, penalties on Holley building in Public Square

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 December 2021 at 9:49 am

Canceling $3,292 will help village revitalize abandoned site

File photo by Tom Rivers: The county’s move to cancel back taxes at 89 Public Square removes another obstacle in trying to redevelop the site.

UPDATED: An earlier article stated the county was forgiving $11,426.91 in back taxes on the building, but it instead is forgiving $3,292 in penalties and back interest.

HOLLEY – The Orleans County Legislature is forgiving $3,292.44 in penalties and back interest at 89 Public Square in Holley, a building the village has been trying to revitalize.

County legislators said the former Odd Fellows Hall “is a historical structure in the heart of the Village of Holley.” The structure was built in 1890 and is at the northeast corner of the historic Public Square.

The Village of Holley Development Corporation has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization Grant Program to put a new roof on the Odd Fellows Hall.

But the county started a foreclosure on the property and wanted the back taxes. The VHDC paid 11,426.91 in back taxes on Monday. The county agreed to cancel the other $3,292.44 owed in back interest and taxes.

Legislators on Monday said canceling the back interest and penalties will allow the VHDC to move forward with the roof replacement.

The Odd Fellows Hall in 2019 was named to the “Five to Revive” list by the Landmark Society of WNY, an annual list that tries to bring funding an attention to important sites in the region.

The VHDC owns the building after the previous owner gave it to the village. The previous owner bought it at the county tax foreclosure auction. The owner bid online from Florida. She saw it as an investment, but no tenants or new buyers emerged.

The village stepped in, not wanting to see the building fall in disrepair and have to be torn down.