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No empty promises, just lots

Newsmaker of the month: Thankless in Silver Creek

Give an inch, they want a mile.

For years, the Revere Inn was an eyesore in Silver Creek. In December, thanks to the Chautauqua County Land Bank, the building was demolished.

But village officials still were not happy. In February, village Mayor Jeffrey Hornburg voiced his displeasure on the finished product. “They filled in the basement area with gravel and rolled it haphazardly on top,” he said. “In other words they didn’t pack it as they went. They filled in the entire basement and then rolled over it and called it complete.”

Silver Creek seems tougher on others than it is on themselves. Ridiculously, the village seven years ago paid more than double the property’s worth — at $725,000 — for its current Department of Public Works site due to bad decision-making. Sure the site outside the village looks good today, but it was a mess when purchased — all on the backs of local taxpayers.

Earlier this month, Gina Paradis of the Land Bank, set the record straight on the demolition. “The misstatements to the media regarding the Land Bank owning the property, that we were going to redevelop the property and more recently that the demolition was done inadequately and not to the village’s specifications are misguided and inaccurate.”

So instead of a dilapidated building, Silver Creek — similar to Dunkirk — has open land, above, and no investor for the property.

Past decisions — like the DPW site — are what created the current poor financial state of the municipality. For the most part, it is working closer with Hanover and is considering becoming a part of the north county water district. Both smart choices.

But municipal leaders across the region need to quit blaming others, such as the state or county, for their current fiscal messes. They pass budgets, approve contracts and made poor past decisions to overpay for land.

Those are all easy choices when you know as an elected official that the pot of money is not coming out of your pockets.

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