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Skaneateles officials weigh pros and cons of possible town hall move

Murray also brought up the idea of building a new town hall at 75 Fennell St., a property already owned by the town.

“If we are moving why not start from scratch and build something that would be more in keeping with the character of the village? Such as something like a colonial building, all on one floor, and start anew so we don’t have to put money into repairs,” she said.

75 Fennell St. was once home to the town highway department, and later the town water department, before becoming home to storage and workshop space for the parks department and Laker Limo.

The property is still within the village, but is also closer to the town’s northern hamlets, which could help better connect those residents to the village and avoid congestion, Councilor Connie Brace said.

Town Supervisor Mary Sennett countered that idea by mentioning that cohabitation of a building with the village could lead to future grant money and make a potential consolidation easier on future generations.

“It’s very clear that the county and the state are looking for municipalities to cooperate. Co-location is something that would be very attractive and would yield us funding. Beyond that, I think … at some point our government is going to mandate consolidation,” she said. “If we’re going to invest in space for future generations, I think we have to think about the fact that, if we go to 75 Fennell St., are we setting up future generations for another expense for shared facilities?”

Town Justice Katherine Dell spoke about the current situation with the town’s court facilities. In the current town hall, the main meeting room is also used for court, which can get cramped for jury trials and jury selection, she said.

The town hall also needs to have the space available for juries, detainees (in some cases), attorneys and witnesses to be separated, though this is something that is managed without too many problems currently, she said.

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