A BYGONE ERA — The Springville Hotel on Main Street was declared an area of spot blight by the Springville Village Board, which is the first step toward possible demolition, according to Springville Mayor William Krebs. Photos by Lizz Schumer.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville Hotel was declared an area of spot blight by the Springville Village Board, during its meeting held on Nov. 19. This resolution will allow “all necessary steps [to] be taken, to alleviate said area of spot blight, including submission of a grant application for demolition to the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning.”
Springville Mayor William Krebs told the board that Erie County Director of Business Assistance Ken Swanekamp recommended that the board pass this resolution and begin to execute an application for a community development block grant, which would alleviate the cost of demolition for taxpayers.
He explained that a group of elected officials visited Springville, last week, to view that building and make their recommendations.
“It would behoove the village to move toward the department of environmental planning’s advice, in light of getting this grant to demolish it,” Krebs said. “This will prevent the demolition money from going on tax liens and would essentially benefit everyone.”
The resolution stated that the “condition of the Springville Hotel is unsightly and negatively impacts economic development efforts associated with revitalization of the village center business district” and that the building has been abandoned by its owner, Brian Rupp. It further delineated that the village is not aware of any development or adaptive reuse plans for the building, which currently carries tax liens of $175,423.
“The resolution puts the focus on [the building] so that the CDBG grant might be considered, in case no adaptive reuse or development is found. It’s to our benefit, financially, to go this route. The resolution is the first step,” Krebs explained.
Village Trustee Nils Wikman said that “some people are saying that it should be saved, if possible” and asked Building Inspector Mike Kaleta if any efforts had been made to get inside the building. “It would help alleviate a lot of questions,” added Wikman.
Kaleta said that overtures had been made to the owner to gain access to the building, but that Kaleta had not had success in that endeavor, so far.
NOBODY'S HOME — The former hotel has several vacant windows and a hole in the roof.
The building inspector also added that the last time he sought an estimate on demolishing the building, he was quoted $60,000 – $80,000, provided no asbestos was found inside.
“I can’t fathom there wouldn’t be asbestos,” he noted. “Chances are fairly good, almost positive, that it is. That’s why it’s important to get inside [to remove the asbestos] before demolition.”
The board voted unanimously to pass the resolution, which declares the Springville Hotel as an area of spot blight, and authorizes the board to investigate potential action, including, but not limited to, submitting a grant application.
In other board news:
– Village Administrator Tim Horner submitted a change order for $8,700, to replace a gas line and a generator at the waste water treatment plant, because the current gas line is too small. The resolution was approved.
– The board approved a request for an additional $250 on the Erie County Rail Trail grant that was approved during the last meeting, in order to create a video that will showcase plans for the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail.
“This is extremely necessary,” Krebs said. “This project will move forward. We’re one of two communities [along the rail bed] that has supported it. The next process is getting more public input, on what the trail will look like [and] what it will include and we should be ready to apply for grants and get moving on it.”
Fire Chief Dennis Dains told the board that the Springville and East Concord fire companies share radio frequency 921 and that the Federal Communications Commission has mandated that frequency to change from a wide to narrow band. That requires re-programming of radios and the receiver in the control center, which Dains said needs to happen “ASAP.
“This needs to be done, by the time to snow flies. These radios allow the town and the village to communicate,” he said. Dains added that the band change will take place on Jan. 1, after which any radios still programmed to the wide band will no longer be able to communicate with the rest. He requested that the board decide how many radios it wants to change.
“If you decide to do them all, we need to set a date [to have the technicians do the reprogramming] and could quite possibly do it all at once,” Dains said. The board agreed to relay the information to the appropriate personnel.
– A request to forgive a sewer bill for $52.67 that came in 140 days after the deadline was denied.
– The board approved the purchase of a new digital projector, with cost not to exceed $650.
The next village of Springville board meeting will take place on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at the village municipal building.