City Council Approves Lease of S&L Building to Historical Society | Archives

SALAMANCA ã Common Council members voted unanimously Wednesday to lease the former Salamanca Savings and Loan Building at 125 Main St. to the Salamanca Area Historical Society.

The 10-year lease between the city and the historic group will be similar to those agreements with the Cattaraugus County Living Arts Association for the Ray Evans Seneca Theater. The building will remain owned by the city, with the group paying rent at $1 a year and providing utilities.

The Historical Society plans to eventually move from its space at 26 Main Street, which it shares with the Salamanca Region Chamber of Commerce.

Using more than $324,696 of the remaining funds from the 1996 Small Towns Community Development Block Grant earmarked for the project, the city will begin renovations to the late 19th century building that has been vacant for several years. A new roof was put on the building in the late 1990s, but no further work was done.

Members of the Historical Society will assist an engineer or architect, chosen by the city, to draw up renovation plans for the building. Members are first looking to clean and secure the building, then undertake renovations on the first floor, where the museum’s collections will be on display.

ßWe were satisfied with the action of the mayor and the council. They all voted yes. We have the lease, but the next step is for the architect or engineer to advise us on restoration goals. We just have to take it step by step. If we receive approval from the architect/engineer, we will seek volunteers for the clean-up, from the President of the Historical Society, Fran Lord.

She added: “We see as a new phase the preservation of some of the historic buildings in Salamanca, which has been done with the rail museum and other buildings. We will not only preserve the building, but what it houses, which will be the history of Salamanca.

Lord pointed to the age of the old bank building, its unique exterior and its position at the corner of Main and Atlantic streets.

ßI consider this building to be at the heart of the north section of Main Street, which is a bit more historic than the south section due to a fire in the 1920s. The building is certainly a gem,” she said. declared.

In addition to the lease on the old bank building, the council also gave the go-ahead for a sunset fireworks display on October 4 on vacant land on East Race Street. The pyrotechnic display will kick off the Falling Leaves Festival, scheduled for October 4-6.

Mayor J. Stephen Montgomery said, “The fireworks have been missing from the Falling Leaves Festival for quite a while and I have decided to bring them back. It won’t come out of town coffers and I think it’s worth it.

The fireworks will be sponsored by Seneca Gaming and Entertainment and other local businesses.

In other cases counsel:

á approved the submission of annual program applications to the Cattaraugus County Youth Bureau and the New York State Office of Child and Family Services for the Salamanca Youth Bureau to run its youth center and its playground programs.

á authorized the submission of a New York State Emergency Services grant for reimbursement of expenses incurred for the purchase of protective equipment, communications or accessories in the fire department of the city.

approved the private sale of vacant land on Norwood Avenue to Victor Quattrone, 12 Norwood Avenue, for $75, or half of the assessed value of the property;

á appointed John Larson to the Youth Commission to replace Steve Grabowski, who has resigned.

Scheduled a meeting for Tuesday at 3 p.m. to hear the city’s annual audit report.

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