New village hall two steps closer to done

— Previously, at a May 21 operations meeting, the village board officially hired QPK Design as the architectural firm for the new village hall project, with Connie Brace, who is also a village resident, to be the lead architect.

The board previously was working with local architect Andrew Ramsgard on preliminary plans for the building renovation, but when the board sought competitive bidding for the project the trustees went with QPK because of its proposed cost, the size of the firm and its experience in municipal projects, according to operations meeting notes.

Trustee Jim Lanning, who is also on the board’s village hall renovation committee, said the project is moving forward and “We’re thrilled about the progress we’re making.”

Recently, at the June 14 chamber of commerce monthly luncheon meeting, Mayor Marty Hubbard gave a brief overview of the new village hall project and said the village board hopes that bids for general construction work will open in mid-September and the village offices will move into the renovated building by March.

The village board expects to be “well within” its budget for the project and hopes the entire project will be done long before the May deadline.

Also at the meeting, the village board:

—Approved the request of an independent film company to film a scene from its upcoming movie, “Impossible Choice,” at the Clift Park gazebo during the entire day of Tuesday, July 10. The scene involves two hip hop dancers arriving at the park in a limousine and then doing a dance audition in the gazebo. The filming will not impede road or park traffic, will include nothing racy or inappropriate, will be conducted rain or shine and will welcome any and all spectators, said film representative Ron Marquisee.

—Discussed its currently ongoing review of how and why it will allow downtown metered parking spaces to be “bagged” for day-long use by contractors or other construction vehicles. Currently, contractors can purchase a bag for $5 from the village offices, which is put on the meter(s) by village police, that will allow them to use one or more spaces for an entire day. The board is discussing tasking the village codes officer with reviewing each request for a parking meter bag, since he knows what construction projects are underway in the village. The board also discussed possibly increasing the bag fee to $10, and removing bags from meters at night so parking spaces are available after construction ends for the day.

—Approved the purchase of a hydraulic excavator from Bobcat of CNY for $36,637, with attachments for $7,533. Bobcat of CNY made the lowest bid of the seven bids received for the advertised excavator purchase.

—Approved the request of musician Nick Smolenski to hold a free concert from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at the Clift Park gazebo.

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

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