SCC: Informational meeting gives all parties time to speak

Residents filled the Skaneateles Fire Department Saturday morning in an attempt to learn more about the state of the community center.

The Skaneateles Community Center has been the topic of several discussions over the last three years between the village, town Skaneateles Recreational Charitable Trust and Parks and Recreational Council of Skaneateles, Inc., more commonly known as PARCS.

"Those discussions have reached a critical juncture," Mayor Bob Green said.

The big question presently being dealt with is whether the community center should be owned by a public entity, such as a municipality, or a private not-for-profit organization like PARCS. At this time, the village board supports the ownership of a non-profit organization while the town board would rather see the center publicly owned.

"The reason we support a public owner is because that's what we originally agreed upon," Town Supervisor Phil Tierney said, adding that the agreement was SRCT would lturn the community center over to the village of Skaneateles, who would in turn lease it to the town, who would run the center through its department of recreation.

Once established, the SRCT was to turn the center over to the village as of Dec. 31, 2007. Both the town and village have continued to extend their agreements with SRCT at their monthly board meetings.

According to Tierney, public ownership of the community center would provide for openness and transparency of government along with public accountability.

There are also several social policies set up through the town in terms of various memberships. For instance, senior citizens receive a discount and there are family memberships available.

Since plans for a weight room at the new firehouse had to be taken out due to cost, Skaneateles and Mottville firefighters receive memberships to the community center through their respective departments.

The center is staffed by public employees paid through the town.

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