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Skaneateles: Change up

Municipal task force sets eyes on garage for joint offices

The joint building municipal task force in Skaneateles is gearing up for the second phase of its village and town building consolidation efforts, according to the committee's new chair, Ellen Kulik.

The task force, formerly chaired by Village Trustee Alan Dolmatch, has already decided tentatively on a new destination for the village and town offices - the old village DPW garage on Fennell Street, which currently harbors the village water department. The property is between the new Skaneateles Area Volunteer Emergency Service building and Town Square. The old site of Skaneateles Supply lies to the south.

So far, the committee is functioning just like it should Kulik said. She said that the committee's membership is changing to reflect the goals of the second phase.

When we first set it up, the first phase of the committee consisted of looking at building needs and what the town and village would need in a joint facility, Kulik said. Now we're looking at finances, agreements and logistics. We're appropriately finding the right people for each of these areas as the committee broadens - we've talked to real estate developers, legal experts and financial experts and logistics specialists. We also decided early on to build on a property we already own to spare more costs to the taxpayer.

Kulik said the committee plans on soliciting support from the public later on at the advice of the village and town boards.

But one member of the committee, town Justice Charlie Major, said that putting the two government offices in one building is overly costly, and inefficient.

I'm not against the site, he said. It fits the bill - plenty of parking.

Major said there's a bigger issue at hand, however, whether or not there is a need for a village government at all.

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