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Trustees inch forward on Fennell Street fire station project

— The Skaneateles Village Board of Trustees met with their advising architect Andrew Ramsgard this week to discuss exactly how to move beyond talk and into the preliminary planning stages in the Fennell Street fire station reuse project.

“This is a chance for the board to talk to Andy and expand on our conceptual plan [for the project],” said Mayor Marty Hubbard at the Jan. 31 operations meeting.

After nearly two hours of discussion, the board agreed to task Ramsgard with drawing up a proposal for his anticipated architectural work to renovate the old Fennell Street fire station and also agreed on how to put the current village office building up for sale. No formal actions or votes were taken by the board, however, everything is still “just talk” at this stage, Hubbard said.

But it was not a quick and simple meeting, and two village residents offered their own input to the board on how and if the project should even proceed.

The board determined at the beginning of the year to sell the current village offices on East Genesee Street, use the profit to renovate the old firehouse on Fennell Street and move the village offices and the village police department into the renewed structure, if feasible.

The board initially broached the subject of moving village hall at a Jan. 9 operations meeting, at which Ramsgard reviewed the old firehouse structure and presented a preliminary fire station renovation idea. That plan would consist of three stages: renovate the building interior first, the exterior second and the parking lot and landscape third.

The Jan. 31 meeting consisted of two major discussion points: if and when the streetscape for the Fennell Street fire department lot should be renovated, and how to proceed on the project without wasting taxpayer money if the entire idea comes to nothing.

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