Hrazanek's flood buyout quest a race against the clock

By Joe Moskowitz
Fleischmanns businessman and property owner William Hrazanek is racing against a clock that is about to tick down to zero.
On May 20, two of his Fleischmanns properties, the former Bailey Manufacturing plant on Depot Street and the VW Parts facility on Wagner Avenue, will go on the foreclosure auction block on the steps of the Delaware  County Courthouse in Delhi.
Fleischmanns native and former Wall Street tycoon Kenneth Pasternak holds first mortgages on both properties and has won judgments totaling more than $1 million against Hrazanek for non payment.
But May 20 is still a week away and Hrazanek continues to fight Pasternak’s foreclosure efforts.
On Monday, representatives of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Delaware County Planning Board member Shelley Johnson, working on behalf of FEMA, the agency which would actually purchase the properties, and Hrazanek met to discuss what New York City may be willing to pay him for the VW Parts facility, as well as the Stenhardt apartment building at 1112 Main Street in Fleischmanns, which Hrazanek also owns.
If Hrazanek accepts the offers, then the flood buyouts can proceed to the next step. There have been two appraisals on the Bailey plant as well as a now vacant lot that is near the Wagner Avenue entrance to Bailey’s. Since no agreement was reached during the fist two attempts, a third and final appraisal is scheduled for this week.
If Hrazanek were to get flood buyouts on all four properties, it would be a financial catastrophe for the Village of Fleischmanns as the DEP, which would be given the deed to the property by FEMA, would only pay dramatically reduced taxes based on the property’s value as vacant land, and the parcels could never be developed again.
But Fleischmanns Mayor Todd Pascarella said he can’t see all four properties making it to closing. The Bailey building and the VW Parts facilities would be subject to environmental reviews, and given their past usage as auto-savage yards, would come under close environmental scrutiny. There is also the very strong possibility that within less than two weeks, they won’t even belong to Hrazanek.
That same week, Hrazanek will be facing another ongoing problem. He is due to appear in Middletown Town Court to answer criminal charges filed by the State of New York for alleged environmental violations on properties he may no longer own.