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Holley turns to politicians for help in the Diaz home impasse

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 11 November 2015 at 12:00 am

HOLLEY – Members of the Holley Village Board are reaching out to state and federal representatives in an effort to convince the Environmental Protection Agency to drop its insistence that the eight “Diaz homes” in the village undergo certified lead abatement. The EPA wants that done as part of an agreement that would turn the homes over to the village for eventual sale.

Holley Mayor John Kenney said the village sent letters Monday to the Army Corps of Engineers/EPA, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Chris Collins, State Sen. Robert Ortt, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Orleans County legislators John DeFilipps and David Callard.

Members of the Village Board discussed the letters during their regular meeting Tuesday evening.

Talks between the Village of Holley Development Corporation and the EPA have been at an impasse for months over the lead abatement issue and now Mayor Kenney says the letters seek, “assistance in dealing with the EPA’s stance on lead abatement in the Diaz homes.”

The mayor said he is concerned over the insistence by the Army Corps of Engineers/EPA regarding the homes. Officials there recently requested

that the village shut off electric to the homes, a move village board members worry will lead to their deterioration.

The Village HDC has been charged with working to acquire the homes and then decide how best to sell them to get the properties back on village tax rolls. Dan Schiavone, president of the board of directors of the VHDC, has said the corporation is not a dumping ground. The expense of the certified lead abatement process would make it difficult to sell the homes, several of which are valued at less than $25,000, Schiavone said.

Deputy Mayor Brian Sorochty said during Tuesday’s Village Board meeting that the VHDC has worked hard to come to an acceptable agreement. “The LDC has done what they can do,” he said.

As of Tuesday evening, Mayor Kenney said the village has not received any response from the EPA.