Holley still trying to iron out agreement with EPA to sell 8 houses

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 9 September 2015 at 12:00 am

HOLLEY – Members of the Holley Village Board on Tuesday evening discussed the status of the agreement to finally get eight homes owned by the federal government back on the tax rolls.

The Village, the Village of Holley Development Corporation, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency are trying to work out a deal for the eight “Diaz homes,” sites that were affected by a chemical leak from the former Diaz Chemical plant in January 2002.

All three parties had signed an agreement which would turn over ownership of the homes from the EPA to the VHDC to be sold. However, the EPA then sent another agreement which included new wording calling for lead abatement in the homes to be completed by a certified lead abatement contractor.

“You don’t expect somebody to sneak something in there,” Village Attorney John Sansone told village trustees on Tuesday.

He said he had reviewed some minor expected changes when, “Something in my head said to read it all.” That is when he discovered the new wording regarding lead abatement. Sansone said he has spoken with an EPA attorney who said the new wording was added because of “safety concerns.”

Sansone said he worries that adding stipulations to the agreement will make it difficult to sell the properties.

VHDC Chairman Dan Schiavone has contacted the EPA with a list of options the village is willing to consider regarding the lead abatement issue, Sansone said.

Holley officials are now awaiting the EPA’s response before moving forward. Neither the Village nor the VHDC has signed the new agreement.

In other business, Village Board members accepted with regrets and best wishes the resignation of William Murphy as Police Chief. Murphy, who is retired from the Greece Police Department, served as police chief in Holley for 7 1/2 years and resigned earlier this month after the Village Board decided not to seek a pay waiver for his retirement.