Silver Creek picks IDA’s brain for blight properties

SILVER CREEK – The Chautauqua County Indus-trial Development Agency was invited to the village of Silver Creek to see what can be done about some of the dilapidated buildings.

Silver Creek Trustee Warren Kelly said he invited CCIDA officials to a meeting because he is new to the board and does not know what the agency can do to help the village with businesses and blight properties.

Several residents attended the meeting to hear what can be done about the Seegert’s Dairy property on Buffalo Street.

CCIDA Executive Director and County Director of Planning and Economic Development Bill Daly said Seegert’s Dairy has been talked about for the past seven and a half years he has been with the county.

Kelly explained the property is a pre-existing, non-conforming building which predated the area’s residential zoning. He said the village’s zoning law says once the property is not used commercially for a year, the zoning reverts to residential.

Daly said he will contact the Department of Environmental Conservation about the property’s brownfield status and said he will look into superfund money.

Mayor Nick Piccolo said he was told the county can forgive the back taxes on the foreclosed property and the county executive can also forgive tipping fees at the land fill, which would mean the village could get the property for the cost to demolish the structure.

Daly said it could be costly to remediate the brownfield and if there is asbestos in the building, demolition and hauling will be more expensive.

CCIDA Project Manager Kristine Morabito asked neighboring residents Linda Fryberger and David Clark what they would like to see done with the property.

“I already know a neighbor on Oak Street who would like to extend their property back if it is cleaned up,” Fryberger said.

Daly said that would be ideal if the property was transformed back into the neighborhood, but said DEC brownfield funding is mainly for businesses and superfund money may be the way to go.

“This is long overdue,” Piccolo added.

Daly also spoke about Petri’s Baking Products. He said the CCIDA has received many inquires and has taken a proactive step and reached out to Conagra’s real estate firm.

“We made an offer to do a bargain sale agreement, exactly what we did with Excelco/Newbrook in the Rem-tronics building. … I got a call out of the blue and it was this guy from the real estate company asking what a bargain sale agreement is and I was able to tell them all about it,” he said.

He said this could help put the Petri’s plant higher on the list of priorities to sell.

Daly asked about the status of the Moose Lodge building near Petri’s. Piccolo said the building has been completely stripped and debts are still owed on the property. He said the best option if the future purchaser of Petri’s demolishes the building and expands the entry to the facility.

Daly and Morabito also explained the resources the CCIDA and other county and state agencies can offer municipalities and businesses.

The Silver Creek Village Board will meet June 3 at 7 p.m. in the village hall.

Comments on this story may be sent to ngugino@observertoday.com.