Skaneateles officials weigh pros and cons of possible town hall move

Skaneateles town officials weighed pros and cons, expressed opinions and discussed options for a possible relocation of the town offices at a work session held on Feb. 24.

At the meeting, the Town Board along with Town Justice Kathy Dell, Town Engineer Doug Wickman and Peter Wiles, who acted as a facilitator for the group, discussed issues with the current town hall and possible problems, or opportunities, associated with relocating to a new location.

The subject, which has been discussed multiple times in recent weeks, was brought before the board as a result of a letter sent to the town by Village Mayor Marty Hubbard dated Jan. 13. In the letter, Hubbard offers to deed the vacant truck bay area of village hall to the town for free so they can renovate it to be the new town offices. After sitting vacant for several years, the former fire hall was converted into the new village office and village police headquarters last year.

Moving town hall has been on the minds of town board members for years due to accessibility and safety and security issues with the current building, 24 Jordan St. The board also discussed other locations to where it could potentially move town hall.

Though not totally opposed to the idea of moving into the village building, Councilors Jim Greenfield and Nancy Murray expressed concern and skepticism about the idea of moving into the village building.

Board members also said that it would have been easier to plan if the village had made its offer before it did the renovations to the fire hall.

“It’s like they got the gravy and we’re getting the bones, that’s what it looks like right now,” Greenfield said.

When asked about any potential issues in drawing up an agreement between the two municipalities, Town Attorney Tom Taylor said it would be possible, but “the devil is in the details,” regarding issues such as long-term maintenance and the needed easement for the village’s solar panels.

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