New fire station in the works for Manlius

Because neighboring municipalities have new stations and Manlius does not,

I am frequently asked about the status of our fire stations. "Are we going to build new ones just to keep up with Fayetteville, Jamesville and DeWitt?" is the most common question.

Our primary responsibility as a municipality is to provide services and safety for all who work and live in the village. Our Department of Public Works and Fire Department do a great job every single day delivering top-notch service and supporting public safety.

However, I do not believe our current fire facilities are adequate for the future.

An earlier study in 2008, conducted by the Manlius Fire Company and Hueber-Breuer (the contractors who built DeWitt¹s, Jamesville¹s and Fayetteville¹s new fire stations) proposed a new Station Two (18-22,000 sq ft ) at the corner of Rt 92 and Enders Road and the renovation of Station One.

When I became Mayor in 2009, Onondaga County was planning on eliminating 100% of annual sales tax revenue to all villages... A potential loss of nearly $700,000 to our village. We were also in the midst of a deep recession. I made the decision that the village needed to be on more certain fiscal ground before proceeding to address the needs of the current fire facilities.

As it turned out, we lost over 50% of our sale tax revenue. But by right-sizing our village departments and budgets, I was able to close the gap without raising the village tax rate.

Having stabilized village finances, in September 2011, I created a Fire Facilities Committee to update our plans moving forward. Two volunteer fire company members, two career village fire fighters/EMTs (one retired), two village trustees, our village engineer, our architects, a NYSDOT representative and our fire chief joined me in this effort.

The Committee has been analyzing all viable options. We have finalized a recommendation that we will be making to the Village Board on March 12. Ultimately, the decision will be made the village voters in a public referendum.

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