Holley officials praise retiring grants manager, code officer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 May 2020 at 11:02 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Ron Vendetti (left), Holley’s code enforcement officer and grants manager, last month tours the Holley Gardens project with George DeRue, Home Leasing’s vice president of historical preservation and construction manager for the project. Home Leasing turned the former Holley High School into senior apartments and the village offices. This is the last project Vendetti inspected for the village. He has now officially retired as code officer and grants manager.

HOLLEY – Ron Vendetti has officially retired as a municipal official. Vendetti retired last year from Albion and Holley code enforcement officer. He also served in the role for the Town of Murray.

He also was serving as the grants manager for the Village of Holley. But he has resigned from the position to finally be fully retired.

The Holley Village Board accepted his resignation on Tuesday, and thanked him for getting the village in a position to tackle ambitious sidewalk and water projects.

“He will be missed,” said Holley Mayor Brian Sorochty. “Throughout the planning process Ron has been invaluable to me and the village.”

The mayor said Vendetti has often been viewed as a “lightning rod” in his role as code officer. But Sorochty said Vendetti is competent and able to move complicated projects forward.

The $4.5 million waterline and sidewalk project is expected to start soon and will take about a year.

The Village Board on Feb.11 accepted a $2,556,000 construction bid from a contractor on Tuesday to replace sidewalks and water lines in the village. Most of the project is along Route 237 and the northeast section of the village.

Mark Cerrone, Inc. of Niagara Falls submitted the lowest bid for the project. Grants will cover the majority of the costs. Holley is responsible for 20 percent of the sidewalk work and 40 percent of the waterlines.

The village was approved for a $1,780,000 federal TAP grant (Transportation Alternatives Program) to construct curbs and sidewalks that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The grant will allow the village to replace about one-third of the sidewalks in the village.

Holley also was awarded nearly $1.3 million from the state for upgrades to the water system through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, as well as the Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grants Program.

The waterline project includes 5,800 linear feet, just over a mile, and involves replacing 4- to 8-inch water mains with 8- to 12-inch water mains.

The village has a $318,100 contract with the Wendel firm for construction administration and observation services during the project. In addition to Wendel, village officials will be involved in the construction, especially Dave Nenni, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, and Matt Campbell, superintendent of the Water and Electric departments.

One responsibility that Vendetti handled as code officer was prosecuting the code violations. Many other towns and villages have the municipal attorney attend court and prosecute the violations.

“The village was very lucky because Ron did them all and it didn’t cost you anything,” said John Sansone, the Holley village attorney.

Sansone has been the village attorney for 19 years and he said only on three occasions did he need to be involved with a code violation case in Holley.

Tracy Van Skiver, the Albion code enforcement officer, also is working part-time for Holley. She wants the village attorney to handle more of the court responsibilities.

The rules have changed since Vendetti retired with the code officer needing to meet the state’s new laws for discovery, which means a faster turnaround for providing documents to the defendant.

Sansone said his contract calls for additional pay for time spent in court representing the village. Many of fines for code violations are $50. That is less than the village would have to pay Sansone to defend the case.

Right now, the local courts are closed until at least June. Sansone said the Village Board should weigh how to proceed in prosecuting the cases, perhaps only using him if there are cases with “huge violations.”

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