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MAVES prepares to construct new headquarters

Marcellus Ambulance Volunteer Emergency Services has plans to move out of its shared space with the fire department and into a new space. The mortgage for the $650,000 project has been approved and construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in October.

"It's something our membership has been looking at for several years," said Stephen Knapp, director of MAVES.

MAVES adjusted its building plans after meeting with the town of Marcellus.

"Our initial building size was going to be comparable to the size of the SAVES building in Skaneateles, but after the town expressed displeasure in us using town funds, we went back and revisited everything," Knapp said.

MAVES proposed a smaller building on the same plot of land on Lee-Mulroy Road, allowing for future expansion. Knapp says the current plan will be funded using MAVES' revenue sources.

"We're not a town department, we're an independent department that contracts with the town," Knapp said. "We also provide mutual aid services to other vicinities and those funds offset the costs ... for us to be able to construct a building."

Town Supervisor Dan Ross cited MAVES' generation of revenue from insurance carriers as something that distinguishes them from the Marcellus Volunteer Fire Department, which had sought ownership of the firehouse.

MAVES was once a call-in service, but is now staffed full time. Knapp says this has everything to do with the decision to expand.

The building will provide sleeping quarters and standby quarters, where crews can watch T.V., socialize, and prepare dinners while they wait for emergency calls. There will also be space available for meetings and training services.

Some feel that now is not the time to be building new facilities.

"New York state is bankrupt right now, and the way the economy is in our country, I think we need to be sharing services," said town councilor Kevin O'Hara.

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