Deputy Fire Chief Gil Hodges’ proposal to acquire the property at 6 Farnham Street, next to the firehouse, was met with concern at the Cazenovia Village Board meeting on Jan. 3. Hodges explained the Cazenovia Fire Department’s plan to purchase the neighboring property and outlined future possibilities.
“Short term, we would use the property as a training facility. Then we would tear the building down in a year or two, to make that more parking. We could make about 11 spots total, which would double our capacity,” Hodges said. “As it stands right now, we have no room to expand. We are at our limit”
In addition to training and parking, purchasing the adjoining land would allow expansion of the firehouse itself. More space for equipment and offices could be added, eventually including live-in quarters for a team of professional firefighters. The building and .11 acres of land at 6 Farnham St. are currently listed at a price of $110,000. Hodges and members of the fire department are optimistic that the amount is fair and wish to acquire the property before another offer is made, losing the opportunity for expansion.
Village Trustee Peggy Van Arnam voiced her concerns with proceeding. Arnam said she felt more information and planning was needed before the funds could be appropriated, and a number of townspeople in attendance agreed.
Others at the meeting said that properties around the same location in better condition have been sold for less. Feeling that the asking price was too currently too high, the board recommended an independent third party appraisal be conducted before moving forward.
The Cazenovia Fire Department had previously encountered issues with expansion. The station was formerly located at 90 Albany St., the current home of the police station and municipal building. The initial move was made because the growing department called for more space.
But now they have new reasons to expand. Some of the fire department’s equipment is currently stored in a shed at the department of public works. While the two locations are relatively close together, volunteer members said it is difficult and inconvenient to gather equipment from multiple sites.
The purchase proposal was postponed as an agenda item for next month’s meeting. It was established that more due diligence is needed, pertaining to the plans for expansion and real estate prices. Hodges was also asked to consider alternate options, such as adding a third story to the fire department’s current structure and negotiating a parking agreement with Buyea’s True Value Hardware.
The next village board meeting be held Feb. 7.