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The Old Stone Mill is on its way to a new beginning

For more than 10 years, the Old Stone Mill on Fennell Street in the village of Skaneateles has had project after project proposed for rehabilitation. Two years ago, the project proposed by Rick Diamond of Diamond Development was approved. Today, progress is evident. Curbing has been set along the street, windows are in, Tyvek covers the walls of the addition, foundation stonework is completed and last week, plastic sheeting was spread over the entire fa ade facing the street.

"No one is more excited than I am," Diamond said. "I look forward to being done in the next six months or so. It will be great for the village."

Also giving his stamp of approval is Jorge Batlle, codes enforcement officer for the village. "I am happy with the whole project. It has been an eyesore in the village for years and it is good to have it improved and usable. It appears to be built in a workman-like manner. I am hoping it will be ready for occupancy in the summer time. If the weather cooperates it will go smoothly," Batlle said.

Another person glad to see that the end is near is Charles Williams, chair of the Historical Landmarks Preservation Commission, which has control of the exterior. "We have gone around and around for so many years between the historic district as well as the Historical Society and the village," he said. "We are looking to preserve what we have. They wanted dormers facing east on the roof; they went back to the drawing board and redesigned keeping the roof line as it was originally. How they divide up inside is up to the building inspector and state codes."

Why was the fa ade covered with plastic? Battle explains: "That is a cocoon so that a certain temperature for the brick to set and cure can be maintained. When the wrap is taken off and the Tyvek covered, it will be a dramatic change."

Condominiums and planned for the upper floors; retail space for the street level; there will be 10 parking sites in the basement.

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