Fire Dept $7 mil Plans

Architect Frank G Relf's representation of the new buildings

Architect Frank G Relf’s representation of the new Point Lookout Fire Department buildings

Tuesday night, June 4, 2013 at Point Lookout Fire house Fire Commissioner Andy Richter presented plans for the Lido – Point Lookout Fire District’s 7 million dollar renovation and expansion plan to about 100 residents.

Click the following links to find the following drawings and representations of the project

PL Firehouse front elevation

PL Firehouse and Command Center street civil plan

PL Firehouse Proposed second floor plan view

Command Center elevation view

In a future post I will do what I can to get the line-item estimates posted.

As basic general info
$7 million bond
23 years length
40+ years expected lifespan.

$9.19 per month if your house is market valued at 400,000, or

13.79 per month if 600,000.
This translates to
$2.30 per month per $100,000 Nassau County has the “market value” of your property.

Andy Richter speaks about the Fire Departments Needs and reasons for the money to be raised.

Andy Richter speaks about the Fire Departments Needs and reasons for the money to be raised.

Commissioner Andy Richter addressed residents, “This is what we have to do as a board of Fire Commissioners… report to the community we need infrastructure.”

He explained besides being completely outdated and having mechanical issues, equipment issues, and structural or usage issues at all the 40-80 year old properties that need to be addressed,

  • Lido firehouse was heavily damaged in Sandy. Besides the repairs there would be storm mitigation to raise the height to avoid future flooding. The 10 foot high doors are not big enough to accommodate modern fire engines etc.

  • Ye Olde Firehouse has “exceeded its expected lifespan”. It would cost $1.5 million to rebuild and $3.5 million to bring it up to code for a building that would “serve no useful function to the fire department’s business”.

  • The Point Lookout Firehouse would have a fourth truck bay added and full second-story added that would become the new 1300 sf (175 persons) conference room / community center for voting etc. that Ye Olde Firehouse was serving plus other usable space.

The fire department noted that they investigated numerous different ways to go about handling this including buying different properties moving to different properties etc. and this was the best plan they can come up with.


A general feeling I got, based on numerous questions from the audience, was they felt they should have had some input to come up with the best plan before going to a vote.

Chris McGrath said the plan seems “like a Cadillac”. Residents complained they hadn’t heard about this and had a general feeling that it was being sprung on everybody with only one month to decide. I know it was briefly discussed at the March Point Lookout Civic Association meeting. The May General meeting was cancelled and has not been rescheduled.

It was noted by Don Kelly that he’s usually the guy that upsets everyone and he felt the fire department may have misplaced their community outreach by going to the community and civic groups and expecting them to get the word out.  

Aerial View of Hewlett Ave at Lido Blvd by Frank G Relf, Architect

Aerial View of Hewlett Ave at Lido Blvd by Frank G Relf, Architect

I should have been alerted to potential controversy when the Point Lookout Civic Association sent out an email last week, taking no sides and telling everybody to have their day and vote.

I didn’t know there was a group forming to fight this.

No surprise, the controversy surrounds Ye Olde Firehouse / new command center.

I’m guessing people don’t really see the need for another building?
That’s where alot of the questions were going.

Based on what was said it is getting wrapped up in people having an emotional reaction and attachment to this building as well.

During the Q and A, a little face off happened when Richard Zampella, owner of Skipperdees Ice Cream Shop, and head of the Chamber of Commerce rose to address the crowd.

He initially was not given the mic because he didn’t have a question and rather wanted to make a statement.
After a little cajoling from the crowd he got to make his statement. He spoke about Ye Olde Firehouse. He says he has 400 people signed up against the plan.

He says Ye Olde Firehouse is historic.

We met soft spoken Architect Frank G Relf, who said that the building is not been marked as historical on any official historical societies or ledgers in any way. He said saying it is “historic” was stating opinion, not fact. The fact is that it is not “historical”.

On the other hand some people are genuinely concerned about the 7 million turning into 10 or 12 or more. Andy Richter said that was not possible. “Its a one shot deal”

He turned the microphone back to Architect Frank G Relf. He explained how that’s not possible in that it will be his responsibility, if the bids come in too high, to redesign the costs down. It will be his responsibility to figure out how to make that happen within the set budget. The budget contains 7% contingency which back of my hand figures roll at about $500,000 “just in case”.

Anthony Fucignas asked what was to happen to the fire police who now take up residence in the building at Ye Olde Firehouse. Andy Richter said they will be at the new main house as will the historical society.

about 100 residents gathered at Point Lookout Firehouse for the presentation

about 100 residents gathered at Point Lookout Firehouse for the presentation

Andy Richter spoke of the legacy of the current administration(s) plan and said “We know its a viable plan that will serve the community for a long time- long after we’re gone…. We need to move forward to prepare community for the future”.

This is a straight up and down vote. There is no backup or contingency plan. A failed vote / re vote plan would be based on how bad it lost and the sticking points involved.

People stated they wanted to continue the discussion and asked how they could.

Tonight, Thursday June 6, 2013 is the presentation to Lido residents at Lido Firehouse.

I’m going to bet alot will be said over the next few weeks about it. 

What do you think?
You can post your comments below.


10 thoughts on “Fire Dept $7 mil Plans

  1. Joe Naham
    Blackheath Rd. Lido Beach.
    My question; Did anyone look into selling all three properties, purchasing (Just) One property on Lido blvd (It’s across from the Abandoned Water Dept. Building near Mushroom Park) And building a brand new facility, that’s sophisticated enough to answer the demands of a modern fire department?
    To me, if we want to negate the Tid-For-Tat element of this discussion (i.e.: “PLO Gets Value for two properties, Lido Gets value for only the refurbishment of one”) Then knock them all down, sell the Valuable properties, and build what we need in the middle of everyone, for everyone who needs it.
    Has anyone considered that? Whether it’s to purchase and build on the already empty property that is for sale, or how about the space where the abandoned and useless water dept. building currently is? The town may sell it cheap to a fire department? I’m speculating, but we need to get away from Tid-for-tat, and red tape, making the cost of living too high for younger generations, and retirees on fixed incomes as much as possible.

    • Joe has a valid point and reflects many citizens issue with this plan. Nothing has been done to save $ or reduce the cost of this project. The Fire department deserves our support, they do a great job, but at what cost? Is all this really necessary? If someone can justify the need for bigger fire department building and a Command Center, then many sitting on the fence will jump on the bandwagon.

  2. Im sorry I was away and could not make the meetings. Did anyone explain the need for the Command Center along with an upgraded Firehouse?

  3. Pingback: Flyer: Save Ye Old Firehouse | making my point

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