This is the first in a four-part opinion column by Alan Dolmatch on the Fennel Street Fire Station proposal. The editor welcomes any and all submissions by local residents — as columns or as letters to the editor — who would like to express their opinions on this issue as well.
The Skaneateles Village Board has announced that it is in the process of developing and evaluating a plan whereby the former fire station on Fennell Street would be renovated to serve as its village hall and police station. To pay for this move, the existing village hall at 46 E. Genesee St. would be sold to a private buyer with the proceeds of that sale used to finance the improvements to the Fennell Street building and site.
According to the board’s plan, no additional public funds would be expended on the initial conversion. Subsequent up-grades would be subject to future board action and fund availability.
This is the first of several articles that will discuss the factors that an informed public should know about the former Fennell Street fire station building (and site), Fennell Street itself and the village board’s current plan. Together the articles will address building and site history, building condition, current space needs, economic impacts of a relocation decision and urban design considerations relevant to the former fire station property and Fennell Street.
This first article will touch on the building and site’s recent history from its consideration (and rejection) as the location of a new fire station in 2005 to the current evaluation. The second will address site and urban design issues that arise from relocating village hall and the Skaneateles police into the former fire station building. The third article is concerned with design issues. The final article will speak to the economics of renovation and relocation.