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Springville’s London Bridge is falling down: looking at the blighted Springville Hotel

I’M STILL STANDING ­— The Springville Hotel, located on West Main Street, has been declared an area of spot blight and plans are underway to demolish it. Photo by Andrew Manzella.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville Hotel, a long-standing structure on West Main Street, in the village of Springville, has been declared a blighted property.

Brian Rupp, the current owner of the building, has not yet taken responsibility, for the distressed building.

“Basically, anytime someone walks away and refuses to do anything, there’s other avenues, that the village can take,” explained Springville Code Enforcement Officer Mike Kaleta.

Springville Mayor William Krebs said that, “The village has a court order, from the [New York] state supreme court, saying that the village has the authority to demolish the property.”

Legal boundaries, that have been preventing contractors and the village building department from entering the building, are being overcome, according to those officials. The first step, once allowed inside, will be to conduct a hazardous materials survey, inside the building.

“We were not sure that we had the right to enter the building, even though we have the order, for demolition,” Kaleta explained. “Lawyers have been working on the necessary paperwork, and whatever else, so that we can gain access.”

Krebs said that he is keeping an eye on the building’s progress, as it continues to deteriorate.

“If, in the interest of public safety, let’s say the building starts to fall down and threaten public safety, the mayor of a village, by New York State law, local law and a recent resolution, by the village board, has the authority to secure public safety and, in this case, demolish the building,” he explained.

Help from the Community Development Block Grant is being sought, by the village board, to help pay for the demolition.

“The alleged property is bringing down the value of surrounding property, so we’ve determined that this property is blight,” said Krebs. The CDBG, administered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, helps areas affected by blight recover, economically.

The current tax liens on the property are more than $180,000, which makes it “upside down” financially, meaning that it is not worth as much as taxes owed, according to Krebs. The cost of demolition, if grants are not provided, will be added to the owner’s taxes.

The latest time frame that was given to village officials, regarding when a grant could come through, is about one month. Kaleta noted that the date, on which the Springville Hotel is going to be demolished, will likely be during a time outside of bowling season, in an attempt to cause the least amount of financial inconvenience, to nearby Springville Lanes, where bowling matches are held.
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