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Rotary clubs raising funds for new Clift Park drinking fountain

The stone drinking fountain in Clift Park near the gazebo, above, is deteriorating and needs to be replaced. The Skaneateles Rotary Club donated this one in 1983 and is now working with the Sunrise Rotary Club to donate a new cast-iron fountain.

The stone drinking fountain in Clift Park near the gazebo, above, is deteriorating and needs to be replaced. The Skaneateles Rotary Club donated this one in 1983 and is now working with the Sunrise Rotary Club to donate a new cast-iron fountain. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— The two Skaneateles Rotary clubs and the Village Board of Trustees are working together to replace the old stone water fountain by the Clift Park gazebo with a new cast-iron fountain like the one in Shotwell Park near the village flagpole.

The Rotary clubs are working to raise the expected $2,500 cost for the new fountain, while the village board intends to find the labor to have it installed.

“The fountain is clearly in disrepair and needs to be replaced,” said Mayor Marty Hubbard, who initially mentioned the idea in May to John Paddock, secretary of the Skaneateles Sunrise Rotary Club (an offshoot of the regular Skaneateles Rotary Club, sponsored by the SRC).

“This was originally a Rotary project and I suggested to John that replacing it would also be a great Rotary project, and he ran with it,” Hubbard said.

The stone fountain was donated by the Skaneateles Rotary Club in 1983. It is now deteriorating due to age, and it also is not wheelchair accessible, as is the two-level cast-iron fountain in Shotwell Park, which was built about ten years ago.

Paddock of Sunrise Rotary discussed the idea with the evening Rotary club and the two groups agreed to sponsor the project.

The Skaneateles Rotary Club has committed $1,000 toward the project and the Skaneateles Sunrise Rotary Club has committed $500, said Chuck O'Neil, SRC president. In addition, the two Rotary clubs are applying for a Rotary District Grant of $1,000 to cover the remainder.

“However, the district grants are not awarded until the spring, so this project will not be completed until next spring, assuming the clubs receive the grant,” O’Neil said.

At the Aug. 17 village board meeting, the trustees voted to “acknowledge,” or formally support, the two Rotary clubs’ efforts in order to “put them in a better position to receive the grant,” Hubbard said.

“It’s a foregone conclusion that this fountain needs to be replaced, and if Rotary is going to get the money we’re going to figure out a way to get it in,” Hubbard said.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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