The Village Board of Trustees took an impressive and important action last week by broaching the idea to renovate the old Fennell Street fire station and move the village offices to the revamped building. The sale of the much higher-valued current village office building on East Genesee Street would pay for the interior renovations — and almost certainly for the exterior and landscape changes, as well.
While the majority of attendees at the public meeting on the subject last week liked the idea and the potential for the project, support was not universal. Municipal Board member Alan Dolmatch raised some thoughtful objections about both the potential tax savings to the village and the effect (or non-effect) of the renovations on the Fennell Street corridor. We think his ideas are worth serious consideration and discussion, and we encourage everyone with reservations or objections to the project to speak out and add their voice to the debate.
While the proposed project is only in its nascent stages and will certainly change as more discussions occur, we not only like the idea, but endorse it.
It is an obvious benefit to the village to sell an expensive building and use the money to renovate a structurally sound building that the village already owns. This saves money, lowers taxes, improves a dilapidating part of the village and may even revitalize the Fennell Street corridor.
The question is not ‘why do it,’ but ‘why not do it?’
It was objected that tax savings would be minimal and not worth the effort. We reject that logic. All tax savings are good savings, because in the end all taxes belong to and come from the citizens, and if any amount of money can be put back in people’s pockets, it is an idea worth doing. Yes, more modern and attractive structures may become available in the near future for the village to move to, but if there is no cost savings, then why move at all?