Thursday, May 23, 2013
SACO – The City Council will vote tonight on the fate of the former Central Fire Station on Thornton Avenue.
A Saco firefighter backs a truck into the Central Fire Station on the last day of its occupancy in 2011. A hearing and vote on the firehouse are set for Aug. 20.
Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer
The brick firehouse has sat empty since April 2011, when the fire department moved to its new home on North Street. Councilors are expected to vote tonight demolish the building to make a parking lot or sell the property for redevelopment.
Cynthia Taylor Housing Initiatives of New England offered the city $50,000 for the building, built in 1939 as a project of the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. Taylor wants to invest up to $1.2 million to create senior housing.
The city also has an offer from King Weinstein, an Old Orchard Beach real estate developer, to buy the property for $60,000.
Councilor Marston Lovell says razing the building would provide all-day parking needed for employees of downtown businesses. Mayor Mark Johnston believes the council should save the building because of its historic value.
Also tonight, the council will hold a public hearing on a proposed ordinance that would ban dogs from the city's public beaches from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 15. to Sept. 15. Dogs currently are allowed on the beaches at any time as long as they are under their owners' control.
The council is expected to vote on the ordinance on Sept. 4.