By Jennifer Weber

The Village of Springville Board of Trustees met on Monday, Nov. 21, opening with a public hearing pursuant to Local Law 2016-6, Chapter 77 regarding the unsafe building located at 110 South Central Avenue.

Chapter 77 requires a legal proceeding on whether a structure should be demolished in the interest in public safety, to come before the Village Board in a public hearing instead of the New York State Supreme Court.  A property owner who doesn’t agree with the decision of Village Board can then take the issue to New York State Supreme Court.

The owner of 110 South Central Avenue has been notified the property is in violation of the code, and the bank that owns the mortgage sent the Village a letter saying they are not interested in the property. Building inspectors found the foundation caving in and dangerous, making the structure unstable. The structural engineer report stated that “because of the extensive damage to the foundation, possibly the structure wouldn’t stay sound and safe through the year.”

In April 2016, there was a police report of trespassing on the premises. The Board expressed concern over what could happen if the property collapsed on someone who might be inside.

No one with ownership interest in 110 South Central was present at the public meeting. The owner has not responded to anything in over three years, and has moved out of town to Orchard Park. Taxes have been paid through July 2016.

“If someone could get the property owner to sell it, you probably could rehab it, but they (the owner) hasn’t responded to anybody, at all,” stated Village Administrator Liz Melock.

The Board voted to demolish the property based on the findings from the Code Enforcement Officer’s report, the Engineering report and the information obtained at the public hearing.

“I think this highlights the problems with these properties— you really have a house that is salvageable, by everybody’s recommendation, it could be salvageable, but we have no mechanism in order to make it salvageable even with the new zombie laws, you just can’t make it happen,” stated Village Trustee Nils Wikman. “And now because it’s a public safety issue and we know it’s not going to last another harsh winter, we basically have to make the decision…there is no other recourse.”

The Board also approved a recommendation send the following six properties to the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation (BENLIC) land bank for consideration: 128 Waverly Street, 48 Albro Avenue, 227 North Street, 118 Pearl Street (garage only), Clark St (335.140-2-35.000) garage and vacant land on West Main (335.140-2-8.000.)

The BENLIC is a land bank that strategically acquires, improves, assembles, and sells distressed, vacant, abandoned, and/or tax-delinquent properties.  A formal report on each of these properties and a resolution will be voted on at the next meeting.

Police Officer in Charge Nick Budney reported no new complaints were filed regarding 109 North Buffalo and Pearl Street, two places in the Village that have been a concern of residents over the past few months.

The Sheriff Department made an arrest for a 20-year-old responsible for the graffiti incident at Springville Youth Incorporated. The youth responsible for the graffiti at Heritage Park gazebo was identified and completed their community service. An additional graffiti incident was reported at Shuttleworth Park on a monument; there is currently no additional follow-up information at this time.

The Board also approved a new Standards of Procedure of Rules & Regulations for the Village Police department.

Karl Simmeth, Community Liaison for New York State Assemblyman David DiPietro, presented the Village with a Certificate of Merit from the New York State Assembly, congratulating the community on the completion of the Springville Pop Warner Rail Trail, part of the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail.

The Village of Springville Board of Trustee’s next meeting is Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at 65 Franklin Street.