Commissioners of the Lido and Point Lookout Fire District will discuss the future of the Ye Olde Firehouse at a special meeting Monday night, six days after agreeing it will likely be demolished rather than brought up to code at a cost of at least $2.7 million.
"It's really a question of priorities," Andrew Richter, a district fire commissioner, said in a news release that followed a Tuesday meeting where the commissioners concluded that the firehouse should be torn down.
He noted that many fondly recall how the building had functioned over the years as a community center, a preschool and a social gathering place, while very little of it is currently used by the district.
"But our first job as a fire district is to ensure that our communities are protected," he said. "Dollars are limited, and the first priority has to be fire service."
During Tuesday night's district meeting, with four of its five fire commissioners present, a financial analysis for repairing the building, which was closed to the public in 2011 because of its deteriorating condition, was presented.
Last month, officials erected scaffolding on two sides of the building for safety reasons. Demolishing it had been part of a defeated 2013 bond referendum for expansion.
But while Richter's release said the sentiment for demolition was strong at the meeting, at least one person opposes that option.
Don Kelly, president of the Point Lookout Property Owners Association, said Thursday that he had heard about the meeting and still opposes the demolition.
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"Not only is it [the demolition] for the closed community hall, but also [for] the open two-story fire station and training room, as well," he said. "That should be re-evaluated."
He added that the site should be a community center and deemed "historical" by the town.
But Richter said "recent determinations of the District's engineering consultants and the concurrence of the Town of Hempstead that the building has sustained 'substantial damage' . . . simply added weight to what the Commissioners have been saying for several years. Tuesday's meeting put things into even clearer focus based upon the statutory demands."
Tonight's special fire commissioners' meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. at district headquarters, 102 Lido Blvd., Point Lookout.