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Skaneateles mayor, fire chief to discuss fire siren with county officials

The village of Skaneateles is moving closer to a resolution on the contentious issue of the future of its fire siren.

Though no plans have been finalized, the fire siren in the village of Skaneateles will likely be put up “in some semblance,” once details and logistics have been worked out, mayor Marty Hubbard said.

At the May 9 village board meeting Hubbard said that he had met one-on-one with fire chief Eric Sell and they agreed to continue the discussion about the potential reinstallation of the siren with officials from the Onondaga County Emergency Communications office and trustee Sue Jones – who is the fire department liaison.

Since the county handles all 911 calls, they are responsible for activating the siren and notifying local police and fire departments about emergencies. This means they are involved in the operation of the siren and thus should be a part of the conversation, Hubbard said.

Items that are still under consideration include when, how loud and how many times the siren would sound and whether or not a new siren needs to be purchased.

Rather than an official vote by the board Hubbard said he would prefer to use “trial and error” to see what will work best for the fire department and community.

Sell confirmed at the meeting that he and Hubbard had agreed to meet with county officials, though no date has been set for the meeting.

The future of the siren has been an ongoing issue since it was taken down from the roof of the old fire hall on Fennell Street during construction to convert that building in to the new village office.

The fire department had presented the village board with a petition to have it put back up in February and wrote the village a letter in April asking that it be put back up.

The village also received a letter from the Insurance Service Offices in February stating that the siren, or lack of siren, would have no affect on insurance rates for the village.

The issue had also sparked some debate in the community. The agenda of the May 9 village board meeting included receipt of a letter from Art and Diane Fellerman and a call from Diane Mueller – against the siren – and a call from Susan Hall – for the siren.

Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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