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Fire district holding $7M bond vote

Lido & Point Lookout Fire District in Point

Lido & Point Lookout Fire District in Point Lookout. (June 2, 2013) Credit: Ed Betz

The Lido and Point Lookout Fire District is asking residents to approve a $7 million bond resolution so it can renovate and expand two of its three firehouses.

The resolution would also result in the demolition of the district's 82-year-old Ye Olde Firehouse, which was heavily damaged by superstorm Sandy, district officials said.

The 23-year bond would add $165.48 per year to the property tax bill of a home with a market value of $600,000, district officials said in a statement. Residents are scheduled to vote on the bond on July 9.

The bond would allow the district to upgrade its buildings, which are all more than 45 years old, "to modern standards," said fire Commissioner Andy Richter. "We need facilities to protect the communities is what it's really boiling down to," he said.

The total project would cost $7.5 million, with $500,000 coming from capital reserves, Richter said.

The money would be used to expand the Main Firehouse from about 5,000 square feet to about 10,700 square feet, district officials said. This would make room for an enlarged bay area, a new equipment room and a new second floor, officials said.

The Lido Firehouse would expand by 2,228 square feet, to about 8,000 square feet total, district officials said, for an enlarged apparatus bay and new office/bunk rooms and company rooms. Ye Olde Firehouse would be demolished to make way for a new, 1,900-square-foot command center, officials said; that is also part of the bond proposal.

All three firehouses suffered damage in superstorm Sandy, but only Ye Olde Firehouse was rendered unusable, Richter said. Modernizing that building would likely be too expensive to consider, he said.

"The old firehouse we're closing, and we're not using it. Economically, we're not getting a good bang for the buck" by rebuilding it, he said.

The fire district plans to hold open houses about the referendum Tuesday at Main Firehouse, located at Lido Boulevard and Hewlett Avenue, and Thursday at Lido Firehouse, at Lido Boulevard and Regent Drive. Both begin at 7:30 p.m.

The vote is scheduled from 4 to 9 p.m. on July 9 at both firehouses.

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