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Trustees consider selling, moving village offices

Idea to renovate Fennell Street fire station and relocate municipal and police departments there

The old fire station on Fennell Street is being considered by the village board for renovation in order to move village and police offices there.

The old fire station on Fennell Street is being considered by the village board for renovation in order to move village and police offices there. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— The board’s statement, which was unanimously agreed to by all four trustees and the mayor, said:

“The Village Board believes it is time to address the future use of the old fire station on Fennell Street. After preliminary discussion, the Board is considering the following plan:

1) Renovate the old fire station to house the Village Office and Police Department.

2) Demolish the existing wooden police building in back and create more public parking.

3) Sell the current Village Office on Genesee Street and use the proceeds to pay these costs.

At this time, the Village Board needs to engage an advisor to conceptually develop such plan for public consideration.”

The Jan. 9 operations meeting was attended by village officials and a few village residents, and lasted more than two hours.

Ramsgard, the principal architect of Ramsgard Architectural Design, P.C., in Skaneateles, who was asked by the board to be its principal advisor on the project, gave a presentation in which he reviewed the 2008 evaluation of the Fennell Street fire station, done by V.I.P Structures of Syracuse, gave his opinions on those conclusions and explained his tentative ideas for the renovation possibilities.

The old fire station, which was built in 1963, is “built very well” and is “structurally adequate,” Ramsgard said. It was built during the Cold War era with thick, heavy, concrete T-beams for heavy usage as a fire station. “This building was built to last,” he said.

There has been some settling and cracking in the non-load-bearing walls, which are of “no concern;” there is some leaking in the roof, no insulation in the walls currently and outdated, single-paned windows, all of which can be easily fixed, Ramsgard said. There is some asbestos in the building, but none of it is in poor or dangerous condition and the amount is “far less” than he usually sees in houses, he said.

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