Holley readies to take ownership of 8 houses in EPA possession

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 28 July 2015 at 12:00 am

HOLLEY – “The wheels are turning slowly,” Village of Holley Development Corporation Board President Daniel Schiavone told board members Monday evening.

He said changes made in an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency have been given a “blessing” by the village’s attorney – meaning village leaders should now be ready to sign the agreement allowing the eight “Diaz homes” in the village to become the property of the VHDC and then sold.

The EPA has owned the houses for about a decade. The houses were vacated by residents following a chemical leak from the former Diaz Chemical in January 2002. They have been cleaned and tested by the EPA and deemed safe, with the exception of high lead levels. Village officials want them back on the tax rolls.

“The agreement (to which minor changes were made) just came through today,” Schiavone noted during the board meeting.

“It is an involved process, don’t expect things to happen overnight,” Schiavone warned.

“It will happen,” he said, regarding the transition in ownership of the properties, “We’re just going to have to be patient.”

Schiavone also announced that the village has agreed to mow the lawns of the homes while the VHDC is in possession of them.

“That takes a great burden off our shoulders,” he said.

Questions were raised regarding any possible tax liens on the properties which might date to before the EPA purchased the homes. Additionally, board members briefly discussed options for selling the properties, including listing them with a realtor or selling them at auction and whether or not the properties need to be insured.

Board members hope to have answers to their questions in time for their next meeting, which they set for Aug. 31.

“This is gonna happen, they’re gonna be ours,” Schiavone said regarding the properties. “The wheels of the EPA will turn slowly, but they will turn. We need to be prepared to keep the ball rolling.”