Feb 10, 2014 Joe Genco Uncategorized
The Skaneateles Town Board further discussed the prospect of moving the town offices into 26 Fennell St., during its Feb. 6 meeting.
At its previous meeting, the board discussed an offer made by Village Mayor Marty Hubbard to deed the former truck bays of the fire department building, which was transformed into village hall last year, to the town for free.
The board discussed several actions it will take to further investigate the possibility of moving. Town Engineer Doug Wickman will put together a report on the building after investigating its condition in person and talking to structural engineers who worked on the previous renovations.
Supervisor Mary Sennett said she has heard from several people who were concerned about the structural integrity of the truck bays as well as other possible issues with the move.
One such show of concern came from former town board member Gary Snyder, who wrote a letter to the town dated Feb. 1. Snyder raised questions about insufficient space, the condition of the building, accommodations to the village’s solar panels and utility installations, parking availability and increased traffic on Fennell Street. Given the circumstances it would be “virtually impossible” for the town and village to come to a mutually benefi cial agreement, Snyder said.
“I do not believe that anybody has the ability to draft an agreement that will protect all parties in the future,” he said.
Board Member Connie Brace, whose architecture firm QPK Design designed the new village offices, said that despite the presence of debris on the exterior of the building, the west wall and the roof of the truck bay area were repaired during the village’s work.
Despite her involvement with the village project, Brace said her firm would not be involved with any planning or designs the town may do, due to a conflict of interests.
The board said it would like to do a feasibility study to figure out if the truck bays would have enough space to accommodate the town’s needs.
Even if the truck bay space appears to be too small for the town’s needs, they could possibly employ creative solutions to try and make the arrangement work, something the village did when it moved its offices, Brace said.
“The village did not build anywhere near the amount of space that was designated for it in that planning study. So you take it and you have to look at it as a rough overview,” she said.
Board members also briefly discussed the possibility of sharing a courtroom facility with a neighboring town such as Marcellus. Board member Nancy Murray said that this option was explored in the past by Supervisor Terri Roney.
The state does not have requirements, only recommendations, for town courtrooms so the town may have some flexibility there, Sennett said.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.