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Town of Skaneateles to investigate possibility of moving into village hall

Prompted by a letter from Village Mayor Marty Hubbard this week, Skaneateles town officials said they will investigate the possibility of moving the town offices into the vacant space in the new village hall.

The letter, from Hubbard to Town Supervisor Mary Sennett dated Jan. 13, offers the space that used to be the truck bay area of the old fire hall as a possible future location for the town offices.

According to the letter the property would be given to the town essentially for free:

“The village could subdivide its property and deed the parcel on which the truck bays are located so that the town would own that portion of the property. The village would only ask for an easement to maintain our solar panels on the roof above the truck bays.”

Hubbard also wrote that the arrangement would be mutually beneficial as it would foster better town/ village cooperation and could help them get government efficiency grants in the future.

At the town board’s Jan. 16 meeting, Sennett said she was “very excited” about the offer, but that the town needs to determine the viability of the proposal and assess its needs, before discussing if they want to do it.

Board members stated that accessibility, safety and parking availability are all concerns with the town’s current location at 24 Jordan St.

Some residents are unable to make it to the offices and conference rooms on the second floor of the building, because they are only accessible by stairs.

Town Historian Beth Battle commented that, during the summer, she is often unable to find an available parking spot in the public lot and many residents are unable to visit her in her office because they are unable to get up the stairs.

Councilor Claire Robinson Howard said there are concerns about the safety and security of the building, particularly for town justice court.

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if 9 months, 2 weeks ago

January 2012 Marty Hubbard stated it was imperative that the Village be independent. Why was imperative then and now Marty is offering the truck bay to the Town? Pay close attention to the letter from Marty. Town would have to pay for portion of exterior renovations - new parking lot, sidewalk, landscaping, lighting. Town would have to pay for a portion of maintenance expenses such as snow plowing, lawn care, etc. Town would have to pay for Electric and Water. The new Village Hall does pay for electricity as the solar panels do not generate enough electricity to offset demand for the building. Net-Zero does not mean the Village Hall does not pay for Utilities. It is a marketing phrase which leads many to believe the building generates all of electricity it needs. Here is an idea. Let's not spend time and money on Town Hall. Leave it where it is and focus on keeping our taxes low. Mary you and Marty spoke about this many times when you were a Village Trustee. Connie was and is the architect paid over $130,000 for the Village Hall. Don't tell me you did not know about this idea. Why didn't you discuss this during campaign? Since it is obvious you are advocating for the move and spending our money unnecessarily I would not have voted for you. Shame on you. And don't cancel the town newsletter. What happened to your promise of transparent and open government? Shame again. Mary why are advocating for the Town to pay for repairs to Village water system? How can the Town pay for something it does not own or manage? Maybe we should be asking Marty these questions. His answer is he gets elected by Village voters so the more he can cover Village expenses with Town taxpayer or Town water customer money the better as those folks don't vote for him. Why you reporters can't see this or won't see this is disgraceful.

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