Skaneateles dedicates new firehouse

Eighteen years in the making, the new fire station formally opened Saturday, March 15. Kathy (Buff) Murphy, President of the Skaneateles Firefighters, estimated 500 guests as the caterer planned for 300, and the food was long gone before the formal end of the 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. open house.

The day was meticulously orchestrated by another Buff, Jim. Speeches held in the eight bay garage, were kicked off by Mayor Robert Green, followed by Town Supervisor Phil Tierney, who gave a nod to his predecessor, Bill Pavlus, who generously briefed him on the proposed fire house plans when he took office.

"One example of teamwork that made this project a reality," Tierney said the firefighters and members of the ladies auxiliary lined the edge of the crowd in uniform. Their families, past firefighters, residents and members of other fire companies were present. Skaneateles' representatives in Albany, Sen. John Defrancisco and Assemblyman Will Barclay both addressed the crowd, as did Skaneateles' humble Fire Chief Eric Sell and Kathy Murphy. Many people were thanked for their contributions to the process including the community at large for their support.

After the speeches and unveiling of the dedication plaques, the firemen and women conducted tours. The building essentially contains, a meeting room, kitchen, training room, day room, offices, dispatch room, several storage areas, lavatories, a laundry room, decontamination room (with a separate entrance) and a garage with two lines.

Members of the fire company in general was obviously thrilled with their new digs, but it was also recognized that it was going to take some getting used to. Longtime member Jorge Batlle, put it well, "It's like a new pair of shoes."

The breaking in process has officially started. First Assistant Chief David Card rode this project out from day one - when the village came to the firefighters and asked if they would be interested in a new fire house. He said he was very relieved, "It turned out great, worth the wait."

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