Holley officials see progress with EPA on ‘Diaz homes’

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 12 January 2016 at 12:00 am

HOLLEY – Members of the Village of Holley Development Corporation had the group’s first meeting of the new year scheduled Monday evening, but due to a lack of quorum, and no new business on which to vote, no action was taken.

However, Board President Daniel Schiavone updated those attending on the status of the situation between the VHDC, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the village over the eight Diaz homes the VHDC is hoping to acquire and sell.

“We’re close to moving forward,” Schiavone said of the still unsigned agreement between the three parties. “The EPA has found the money to get lead evaluation (lead assessment) done on the eight properties.”

The evaluation will ascertain the level of lead contamination in the homes and how much cleanup would cost. Additionally, the EPA will provide information on the cost of the option of tearing down the homes and disposing of any contaminated materials.

Schiavone said the EPA expects reports by the end of the month and the information provided will make members of the VHDC, “… more comfortable with accepting ownership, once we have an idea of cleanup costs,” he said.

Progress on transferring ownership from the EPA to the VHDC stalled late last summer over wording in the agreement requiring certified lead abatement – the cost of which might threaten the future ability of the VHDC to sell the homes, Schiavone said.

The date for the next meeting of the VHDC was not set, but Schiavone said board members should be prepared to potentially, “vote to accept ownership of the homes,” at that time.

He explained that the VHDC has to sell the homes with the condition that the new owner has the money to cover cleanup costs. A certificate of occupancy will not be issued until proper cleanup is done by the new owner.

When the EPA comes through with information regarding the lead assessment, prospective buyers will “be clear on what the cost of cleanup would be,” Schiavone said.

He noted that with the homes valued between $0 and $60,000, once the cost of cleanup is factored in, the village might end up splitting perhaps $80,000 with the EPA for all eight properties. The EPA and the VHDC will split the money from the sale of the properties 50-50.

Currently the VHDC has no money and even $40,000 would be of benefit, Schiavone observed, allowing the Board to begin its mission of, “positive development for Holley. The goal is to get rid of vacant eyesores in our community … it makes Holley more attractive and takes our image up a notch,” he said.