The Town Board continues to evaluate the village’s offer to move into the former fire department apparatus bays. One resident recently asked me why I think a move is necessary. It may not be necessary, but I think it’s the right thing to do. I was part of the village transition from Genesee Street to Fennell Street. As an-able bodied individual, I hadn’t thought about the difficulties in the former village dffice but that was also three floors. A government office serves the public and the town hall poses barriers to those with disabilities and limitations. At town hall, we have to be cautious in scheduling meetings because our conference room is on the second floor and, depending on the attendees, we sometimes don’t have the option of using that room. Fortunately our staff is physically able to access the document storage area in the basement but that might not always be true. Our planning and zoning office is up a flight of stairs on the second floor. The entries and bathrooms are not handicap accessible. The Americans with Disabilities Act, which was enacted more than 20 years ago, is premised on providing full access to public facilities and accommodations.
In addition to the ADA concerns, Skaneateles has long been deficient in our court facilities. Our current configuration does not promote safe separation and flow for those scheduled for a hearing. We need to provide privacy for juvenile offenders. There are other safety issues such as the windows in the court room. We can do better.
For much of the year it’s difficult to find a parking space in the municipal parking lot. Jim Buff wrote us a letter and asked that if we move to make sure there is ample parking. I agree, Jim. We need to ensure that there’s parking for staff and parking for those who have business to transact.