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TOWN HALL PROJECT: Marcellus residents cast votes

There was a steady flow of community members streaming through the Marcellus Fire Department shortly after polls opened Wednesday.

All of the residents were heading into the training room to cast their vote in -- and choose the fate of -- the $3.2 million Marcellus Town Hall project. Polls opened at noon and within the first hour there were more than 100 votes cast.

The project, if approved by voters, would include renovating the current facility (approximately 3,000 square feet) and building a 7,000-square-foot addition. The addition would house most town offices, the court, public restrooms, private offices and meeting spaces and also be 100 percent handicap accessible.

"I think it's good because I don't like walking up those stairs," Jean Males said about the current town hall.

One the main floor of Town Hall, Clerk Karen Pollard and other staff members share a small office that doubles as a hallway to the rear of the building. In the shared meeting room and courtroom, the town tax collector makes her office against the east wall.

Codes and zoning offices reside on the second floor of the building and is not handicap accessible. An old wooden staircase, which has a few turns in it before reaching the upper level, and no elevator make it difficult for residents to do business with the offices. Instead, town employees run up and down the stairs for forms and other paperwork as they try to accommodate residents.

However, some residents feel that accommodations don't need to be so big.

"The addition's too big. You don't need 7,000 square feet for Marcellus," Sheila Kelly said.

She also said she feels the cost of the project is too much with the state of the economy and is concerned about taxes. Not only would the project impact her taxes, but Kelly and her family also live on Limeledge Road and are part of the Limeledge Water District which is currently under construction. Between the town project and the water district, she will see a large increase in her town tax bill.

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