Junkyard owner seeks FEMA buyout
By Joe Moskowitz
Fleischmanns businessman William Hrazanek may have an ally in the Federal government, but time and the State of New York may not be on his side.
Hrazanek, owner of Fleischmanns VW and other auto salvage businesses, claimed he lost millions of dollars worth of auto parts when Hurricane Irene damaged two properties he owns in Fleischmanns. He is seeking a flood buyout from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
Fleischmanns native Ken Pasternak holds a mortgage on Hrazanek’s properties and he began foreclosure proceedings last year. And, Hrazanek is facing a court date to answer criminal charges filed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Shelley Johnson of the Delaware County Planning Board, the agency that is handling the buyout program for FEMA, said that there have been two appraisals on Hrazanek’s former Bailey Manufacturing plant on Depot Street in Fleischmanns. The FEMA buyout process requires three appraisals and an environmental study before a buyout can happen. However, she said it is a slow process. And, she said, it has been determined that the other Fleischmanns property, the former AH Todd Ford dealership on Wagner Avenue, would also be a candidate for a buyout, but that process hasn’t even begun.
Johnson said Hrazanek would be responsible for the clean up of the property if there are any environmental issues before a FEMA buyout could happen.
The DEC does have issues with Hrazanek and spokesman Rich Georgeson told the News that Hrazanek is due back in Middletown Town Court to answer criminal charges following raids last year on the two Fleischmanns properties and a junkyard outside Arkville.
Johnson said the buyout process is continuing independent of what happens in court.
A DEC investigation into an alleged violation on a property Hrazanek owns in Mt. Tremper is in progress.