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Springville Journal letter to the editor: Letter misleads community about hotel demolition

Seth Wochensky’s negative and misleading criticism as Revitalize Springville’s reaction to the demolition of the Springville Hotel reminds me of the student who complains about school, when receiving a bad grade. Blaming the village government is a displacement of owner responsibility.

The fact is that the village government responded to the blight of the Springville Hotel in numerous ways, over the years, including strict code enforcement, negotiations about the tax liens and attempts to find a developer.

Seth Wochensky’s reference to eminent domain process as a solution to vacant properties is simplistic, naïve, and misleading (the foreclosure process is underway for the Springville Hotel property), as is his comparison of the demise of the Leland House to other properties and his negative exaggeration about the demise of our village center.

And, finally, Seth Wochensky’s statement that the trustees made the Historic Preservation Commission “a toothless entity” is false and reveals his misunderstanding of the local law, village governance and accepted historic preservation practices.

The village government will address distressed properties with a multifaceted approach.

We will use legal, accepted and effective code enforcement practices, encourage voluntary maintenance and repair of buildings, partner with the business community and cooperate with Erie County, to preserve the architectural heritage of our village.

The irony of Seth Wochensky’s complaint about village inaction is that the village continues to support, cooperate with (and at times forbear) Seth Wochensky, who is the executive director of the Springville Center for the Arts, which owns two properties in need of repair and has received about $870,000 of public grant money, to rehabilitate these properties.

Village residents should not be misled by this political, misleading and negative rhetoric, which contributes to a “devitalization“ of our village center.

Bill Krebs
Mayor of Springville

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