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Skaneateles town, village joint building on hold

A joint municipal building in Skaneateles is a concept that has now been put on hold.

The municipalities released a joint statement last week, which stated that while the town and village have made progress toward a joint municipal office building, "the estimated cost of $3.6 million makes it impractical and not cost effective to continue with the joint project at this time."

Town Supervisor Phil Tierney and Mayor Robert Green agreed that asking the taxpayers to shoulder the burden of a project of this magnitude was too much for the community at this time, particularly because of the economic hard times that many are experiencing.

"Both Supervisor Tierney and myself felt that we couldn't propose this to our taxpayers at this time," Green said.

According to Tierney, both boards concluded that it would be better to suspend the project for the time being.

With a concern for the taxpayers, one of the ideas behind a shared facility was that the town's offices at Jordan Street and the village's offices at East Genesee Street could be sold for a profit and be utilized for business space. At present, those two properties are not on the tax rolls as they could be.

"There are a lot of factors that came into play. It would allow us to sell our existing properties and put these properties back on the tax roll as well as collect a pretty good sale price," Tierney said.

However, with the real estate market what it is, Tierney said he doesn't believe they would be able to achieve their objective. With the condition of the credit market, there is also uncertainty as to how the municipalities could arrange for financing on the joint building, which has been a topic in for the last few years.

"We started several years ago looking at this joint municipal building so I think it's been going on for two to three years of evaluation by joint boards of one sort or another,"

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