County in push for back taxes makes it harder to redevelop site in Holley’s Public Square

Posted 18 November 2021 at 3:01 pm


The Orleans County Treasurer has started a foreclosure on the property at 89 Public Square in Holley known as Odd Fellows Hall. The property is owned by the Village of Holley Development Corporation which was asked by the village to take ownership of this previously abandoned property in order to find a way to preserve it, rehabilitate it and revitalize at as an integral part of the historic Public Square.

As owner of the property, the VHDC has secured the building, obtained a grant to repair the roof and is currently working on a second grant to repair the exterior brick walls of the structure in hope of finding an investor to assume the property.

This building was once previously foreclosed on by the County and sold to an out-of-state buyer in an online auction. This buyer neglected the building and abandoned it with code violations and back taxes once again.

The building requires extensive repairs which are too cost prohibitive for any buyer or investor. Any private owner will most likely abandon or neglect it again until it is beyond repair and must be destroyed. Now, the County of Orleans will once again foreclose on the building for back taxes.

The VHDC is an LDC that operates as a non-profit organization. We have previously negotiated with the Environmental Protection Agency to accept ownership of 8 abandoned homes in the Village of Holley which we successfully put into the hands of private buyers. The homes were not on the County tax rolls at the time of the acquisition but now are thanks to our endeavors.  As we attempt to do the same thing with this abandoned, historic property, the County is now going to stand in our way.

The LDC has approached County officials asking that back taxes be forgiven over a year ago in light of the circumstances but we were ignored. The Village of Holley Development Corporation is all volunteer and non-profit. We operate on a slim budget and can not pay the back taxes on this property.

At the end of the day, it’s sad how much obstruction we get from own community leaders while we try to make Holley a better place.

Dr. Daniel Schiavone


Village of Holley Development Corporation