Village of Skaneateles slow to act on fire siren


The fire siren was taken down from the roof of the old fire hall on Fennell Street over the winter due to construction to convert the building into the new village office.

Instead of giving an answer right away about the future of the siren, village mayor Marty Hubbard endeavored to have a talk with the fire department officials about how the issue should be handled back in February. After a request from Fire Chief Eric Sell, he and Hubbard met again in the first week of May. Now Hubbard, Trustee Sue Jones and Sell said they will meet with the county officials in charge of the 911 call center who are responsible for activating fire sirens.

This issue is about more than just a yes or no answer to a siren. The village may need to buy a new siren or find a different place to mount one on the Fennell Street property; it could also change the rules about when the siren goes off and how loud it is.

So far, Hubbard has been cautious and respectful in handing this issue. It seems to be a gray area of village administration: the village owns the property the siren is on, but the fire department protects the safety of the village and has always had a siren. So, they have had numerous sit-downs to figure out the future of the siren and come to a resolution that is agreeable to everyone.

The problem is that the village has been too slow to act. The parties involved went more than two months between meetings and the recent one was initiated by Sell, who emailed Hubbard requesting that they meet one-on-one.

In the meantime, firefighters have become unhappy with the lack of a resolution, as evidenced by a letter sent to the village in April from fire department President Jim Buff asking for the siren to be put back up. Especially with an issue like this one that has a lot of history and emotion involved, it is in the best interest of our local officials to act quickly and give the people a decisive answer.

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