Holley’s Latest Luminaire

When I first came to Holley six years ago, she lay dormant with many worn out buildings and abandoned storefronts. As she continued to sleep, many thought Holley’s days were numbered, failing to see the life and untapped potential that still resided within her. Slowly though… as Holley started to awaken it’s been heart-warming and inspiring to see her transformation — a transformation brought about a caring community of people who remembered her former beauty and still saw potential in her.

Her transformation started towards the end of 2010 with a team of Planning Board members and community representatives who worked with consultants in developing a Comprehensive Master Plan that defined a vision of Holley’s future. Soon after Sam’s Diner got a facelift. Then in February 2012, Jerome Pawlak opened a Save-A Lot grocery store after the community was without a grocery store for nearly six years. First Niagara Bank followed soon after investing in the community where they conducted their business. In May 2013, the Landmark Society of Western New York announced the Old Holley High School building made their “Five to Revive” list, saying that the building is an “irreplaceable historic resource.” In being named to the list, the Landmark Society of Western New York is now working collaboratively with owners, municipal officials, and developers to facilitate investment and foster rehabilitation of the site so that the building will once again play an active role in the community.

Holley’s transformation continues thanks to a $250,000 Main Street grant that the Village was awarded from the state back in December 2013, providing matching funds for building projects in the downtown area. As a result of this grant, work is now underway to improve several sites in the Public Square area. For instance… Dan and Monica Seeler are doing extensive work converting the first floor of the former Tagg’s Tavern into a steak and seafood restaurant, called the “Holley Falls Bar & Grill”, which is scheduled to open sometime this fall. Meanwhile the second floor is being converted into high end apartments. Then Jonathan’s Pastry Shop is getting a new façade and Lisa’s Dance Boutique is having the second-floor windows replaced and portions of the roof repointed. Other projects include VP Supply who is working on a vestibule for its Geddes Street building and Nancy Penna who may be renovating apartments on Thomas Street in the near future.

The good news gets even better! The Village was also awarded a $15,000 grant for streetscape improvements. Word has it that Village officials plan to use that money to refurbish the fountain in the center of the Public Square that was built in 1914 as well as add new benches. In addition, they are open to ideas from community residents on how to spend the remaining grant money.

Projects such as these not only go a long way in giving Holley a much-needed facelift, but it also encourages other building and business owners to invest in her too! By the time all of these projects are complete, Holley will be transformed into a beautiful, vibrant community to match the beauty and vibrancy she’s had within her all along. For that… Visions of Holley’s latest luminaire is not one person, but rather the entire community of Holley… without you there wouldn’t be any Visions of Holley!

6th Annual Murray-Holley June Fest

Hats off to David Dill and the entire June Fest Committee who are once again planning the 6th Annual Murray-Holley June Fest. Scheduled for Saturday, June 7, 2014, the annual event grows each year, enriching the community of Holley along with area businesses, as well as attracting the young and young at heart all over Orleans and surrounding counties. The roster of activities includes:

  • A village-wide yard sales at 9 am. So start cleaning out the attic and garage.
  • The Jim Ferris Memorial 5K Race at 9:30, with registration forms available on the Village of Holley Website at www.villageofholley.org.
  • At 10:30, a grand parade kicks off, featuring a host of marching bands from area school districts along with the 2014 World Champion Ghost Riders Mini Corps, Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Corps, Sabers Drum & Bugle Corps, Hamburg Kingsmen Drum & Bugle Corps, Mark Time Marchers Band, Kendall Lawn Chair Ladies along with many floats represented by service organizations and fire departments from around the area. The parade route runs from the VFW on 8 Veterans Drive, towards Batavia Street, then down Public Square to White Street, East Avenue, and concluding at the entrance to the canal park.
  • St Mary’s Catholic Church will be featuring their savory Chicken BBQ starting at 11:00 am until they sell out.
  • From 12:00-3:00pm, the Community Action Center at 75 Public Square will be serving up a local favorite… “Garbage Plates” at $5.00 a plate.
  • From 9:00 am-5:00 pm, the Canal Park will be host to a variety of craft vendors, delicious food, games and entertainment for children, wine tasting booth, farmers market, and musical bands.
  • The Murray-Holley Historical Society will be holding their annual bake food sale at the Museum. So be sure to stop by for sweet treats and a cup of coffee. Or stop by Sam’s Diner, Jonathan’s Pastry Shoppe & Café, or the many food booths in the park.
  • Back by popular demand, the evening events kick off at 5:00pm at the Woodlands Soccer field with our own version of “Holley-wood” Idol. Contestants can sign up at 1st Niagara Bank, Public Square. See Nancy Manard for details.
  • The free Drum & Bugle Corp Show begins at 7:00pm with an all-star line-up this year, including the award-winning Holley High School chorus followed by the musically talented Lawn Chair Ladies, the Kendall – Holley marching band, the Hit Men Brass Band, Ghost Riders Mini Corps, Mighty St. Joe’s, and finally the Hamburg Kingsmen.
  • The evening concludes with the spectacular fireworks display by Young Explosives Inc. So be sure to bring your lawn chair.

With this year’s theme being “It’s Fun to Grow Up in Holley”….I thought it would be fun to start June festivities a bit early. Especially since it has been such a long winter! So be sure to write me in care of Visions of Holley and let me know why you think growing up in Holley has been so much fun. I will then forward your comments onto the June Fest Committee.

Upcoming Elections

It’s that time of year again to think about village elections and who you want to represent you. In years past, vacant Village office seats were often decided beforehand as local candidates had the luxury of running unopposed. When this happened, many area residents were left at a huge disadvantage, with their interests and needs largely unmet. Then last year, the tides started to turn as area residents elected two new faces to the Village Board… Brian J Sorochty and Stanley ” Skip” C Carpenter. With local positions running in two year cycles, the remaining Village seats are now subject to our vote this June…. that of Mayor John Kenney, as well as those currently held by Trustees Donald Penna and David Dill.

If you’re interested in holding any of these positions, independent Nominating Petitions may be obtained at the Village of Holley Clerk’s Office, located at 72 Public Square. To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old; a resident of the Village of Holley for 30 days or more preceding the election; and a citizen of the United States. In addition, a minimum of 50 registered voters from the village must sign the Nominating Petition.

The following are key dates and deadlines in accordance with established Election Law.

February 17, 2014 – First day Village Clerk may accept absentee ballot applications

April 1, 2014 – First day individuals may sign independent nominating petitions

May 6, 2014 –  First day to file an independent nominating petition

May 13, 2014 – Last day to file independent nominating petitions for an office to be filled at the general election

May 14, 2014 – Last day to file written objections to independent petitions.

May 16, 2014 – Last day to file certificate of acceptance or declination of an independent nomination for an office to be filled at the village election.

June 6, 2014 – Last day individuals may register with the county board of elections to be eligible to vote.

June 10, 2014 – Last day for Village clerk to receive applications for absentee ballots to be mailed to qualified voters.

June 17, 2014 – ELECTION DAY – VILLAGE OFFICE – 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM

This is your chance to share new ideas or innovative approaches in handling problems facing our community. This is your chance to see the actions outlined in the Comprehensive Master Plan come to fruition. Finally… this is your chance to elect three fresh faces to the Village Board who are accountable to you and the needs of your family. Together we can be the change you want to see, revitalizing Holley with your ideas, your voting power, and most of all…your involvement in local government.

CSA Starting Up

Lori’s Market Basket is pleased to announce that they have officially started their CSA Program for the 2014 season.  If you are interested in being a shareholder, there are a number of ways of signing up. They are offering 100 shares for this years’ crop season with a full share priced at $550 and a half share at $300.  Each full share consists of a large box (about the size of a bushel) of seasonal produce, while half shares are a half box to be picked up every week for …twenty three weeks, between the second week of June and the third week of November. After contacting Lori, they provide you with an information / customization sheet, where you can tell them the type of produce you would like (or not like) as well as contact information and program details.  For additional information visit their http://www.localharvest.org/loris-market-basket-M62612. To join the program, contact them at 585-638-8940; via  email at LorisMarketBskt@aol.com, or simply reply to them on Facebook.  Also check out her flyer on Pinterest. Your inquiries are quickly answered, and they hope to hear from you soon!

Electric Rates to Rise

At last night’s Village Board meeting, village officials told Holley electric customers to brace  themselves for “sticker shock” as big increases will be seen in upcoming electric  bills starting in March. Apparently, Holley’s municipal electric department.buys its power from three sources (New York Municipal Power  Agency, National Grid, and the New York Power Authority). All three are passing along huge increases onto what the village has been paying. As a result, the village will  have to charge more to its customers. For more information, check out the full article on Orleans Hub.

Holley Hosts All-County Music Festival

Music is alive and well in the Holley Central School District as they hosted this year’s All-County Music Festival on February 7 and 8 at the Holley Middle School/High School auditorium. Students from schools throughout Orleans County participated. A panel of music teachers selected students based on their musical achievement, effort, and attitude with performances in the areas of elementary chorus, junior high band, and high school chorus.

The All-County Music Festival is presented by the Orleans County Music Educators Association — a volunteer organization consisting of music teachers from Orleans County schools. The mission of this organization is to further the cause of music education in Orleans County and to provide significant, challenging, and rewarding musical experiences for talented students

Biggest Winner

Are you and your family interested in getting fit in the new year? The Holley Central School District has a fun way to do so. Once again they are partnering with area businesses to host its annual “Biggest Winner” weight loss challenge. A more positive spin than the TV version, this competition is presented by the district’s Wellness Committee and focuses on healthy living. Open to the Holley community, adults and students ages 10 and up can participate.

The challenge begins on Feb 11th with a 6:30  p.m. meeting at the Holley Elementary School and runs  through June. The Biggest Winner challenge requires participants to weigh  in monthly at the school and attend at least four out of  the five monthly seminars that take place at each weigh-in session. Each seminar focuses on healthful eating, exercising and tips for weight loss success as well as a grab bag prize at the end of each meeting.

At the end of the challenge, a grand prize is given to the  participant who has lost the largest percentage of body weight. Last year, the  grand prize was a 50-inch large screen Samsung TV! Stay tuned for this year’s prize.

Interested? Register by picking up a form in the Elementary School office or by attending the first meeting on Feb. 11 at the Elementary School. Good luck to all those who participate!

Infrared Camera Program

The Holley Electric Department has purchased an Infrared camera, which will be used to inspect village lines and substations for hot spots in need of repair. In addition, they are initiating a local Infrared Project, whereby they can come to your home; take snap shots of the exterior; then use these photos as a basis of a report determining whether your home is experiencing any heat loss. While this report is provided by the Holley Electric Department for informational purposes only, the report can serve as a basis of further investigation in the event heat loss is reported. By correcting problem areas of your home, you can minimize further heat loss, conserve energy, and ultimately save money / reduce the cost of your utility bills.

 If you are interested in participating in this project, a sign up sheet is located at the Village Office. The service is being provided free of charge and there is no scheduled date for the service. Rather, Holley Electric will be out taking photos on cold, cloud-covered days. Once photos are taken, they will put together and mail a report, which will include the pictures, a disclaimer form, and an information sheet.

Want to know more or have questions? Contact the Holley lectric Department at (585) 638-6587 or e-mail them at holley.electric.water@gmail.com.

Holley Falls Bar and Grill Coming Soon

As you may have heard around town, area residents Dan & Monica Seeler are working on transforming the former Tagg’s Tavern into a steak and seafood restaurant. Current plans call for the Holley Falls Bar & Grill to open sometime in October or  November of this year. In addition to doing extensive renovations to the building, they are also working with the village in securing additional parking in the Public Square area for their customers. They have set their eyes on a chunk of land next to Hair  Affair, which could be used for 12 parking spaces. Currently, the village owns the land. At a recent Village Board meeting, Mayor John Kenney told the Seelers that the Village  is open to selling the land, but that the land would need to be cleared. As of this writing, the Seelers and Village Attorney, John Sansone are negotiating a price for the  property. Stay tuned!

Interested in joining a CSA?

Lori’s Market Basket is thinking about starting a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Program here in Holley this spring and is looking for your comments and feedback about this program.

What exactly is a CSA? In existence for over twenty five years, CSA’s have gained popularity in recent years as it is a great way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from the farmer.

How does a CSA work?  Typically, the farmer offers produce to the public in “shares”. Consumers purchase a membership (or share) and in exchange receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. Typically, each box contains produce currently in harvest. So for example, a box may include among other items strawberries in June, raspberries in July, and peaches in August.

Why join a CSA? There are many advantages to participating in a CSA. One benefit is the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables you might not purchase otherwise. This allows you to try new tastes, textures, and varieties. What’s more, by supporting a CSA, you are more involved with the people who grow your food and are supporting your local farmers. This in turn supports your local economy. Farmers are there to answer your questions and to show you what goes into growing what you eat.

Lori’s Market Basket is thinking of setting up three separate locations for CSA pickups. The primary one would be one at their main location in Holley at 51 State Street. In addition, there would be one at their stand at the Greece Ridge Farmers Market, and possibly a mobile pickup one from their trailer in between the two locations. This would allow for more convenient pickup within a 50 mile radius.

Is this something you would be interested in? Do you have friends or relatives who are already involved in a CSA Program? Lori is interested in hearing from you and may be reached at passarellfarms@aol.com.

Lori’s Market Basket is a family run farm and grow the largest variety of specialty items in the Holley area. In business for over thirty years, Lori’s Market Basket carries a large selection of the freshest produce available. What they do not grow, they purchase from neighboring farms. Lori strives for the best selection at the lowest possible price! Why pay more at the grocery store? Support your local economy and save at the same time. Like Lori’s on Facebook.