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Lido-Point Lookout may save historic firehouse

The Lido and Point Lookout Fire District on

The Lido and Point Lookout Fire District on June 2, 2013. Credit: Ed Betz

The Lido and Point Lookout Fire District could be open to saving its 82-year-old firehouse, which was up for demolition earlier this year, district officials now say.

Voters in the district rejected a $7-million bond proposal in July that would have allowed the district to demolish the firehouse and repair and expand other firehouses damaged in superstorm Sandy.

The fire district will hold a public forum with residents to hear their ideas for a different plan, fire Commissioner Andy Richter said. No date has been set.

The district, he said, will consider keeping Ye Olde Firehouse, which was built by fire department members during the Depression. It needs repairs and upgrades that could cost $4 million, district officials have said.

"We recognize people's desire and need to see something with the old firehouse," Richter said. "Hopefully we're going to come up with something that's going to be acceptable to everybody."

The district's other two firehouses -- Main and Lido -- still need Sandy repairs, and district officials have said they also need to be expanded.

Don Kelly, president of Point Lookout Property Owners, said the district is doing the right thing by meeting with the community before making a new proposal.

"They just want to hear from the people, as far as what the people want to see. We just want there to be a dialogue, which a lot of people thought they were lacking last summer," Kelly said.

The district is also scheduled to announce its 2014 budget proposal Tuesday at its Main Firehouse, at 102 Lido Blvd. in Point Lookout. The $881,771 proposed budget would not cause a tax increase for district residents, Richter said.

The budget will be the subject of a public hearing at the firehouse on Oct. 15.

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