On Thursday evening June 6, 2013 the Lido – Point Lookout Fire District met with residents at their second open house, this time at Lido Firehouse.
Click this link for up to date information directly from;
Lido Point Lookout Fire District.
Once again Commissioner Andy Richter led the discussion. Like he had in Point Lookout two nights before, he explained to residents what the project is about how much it’s going to cost and what’s involved.
Simultaneously Chas Thompson and Jack Paz were presenting at the homeowners association at the Lido Townhouses.
The meeting was attended by about 40 residents including members of the Lido Dunes and Lido Homes Civic Associations.
You can see my previous post for most of the details:
He spoke of the Sandy related flooding at Lido that wiped out their critical systems heat and generator etc. that they were running on space heaters through most of the winter.
He explained that this is not the original plan, developed over the last ten years; this is the evolved plan since Sandy.
The original plan was limited to:
- no work at Lido,
- tearing down Ye Old Firehouse,
- put up a $4.2 million third firehouse in its place.
Economics, reassessments and then Sandy changed all that.
The new plan is “spreading the 7 million over 3 properties- that was a number similar to the original plan for 2 properties”. The new plan downsizes the new building at Ye Olde Firehouse, to basically records storage, offices that will no longer exist inside the new main headquarters firehouse if the ambulance is going to fit there, and a conference room/command center for emergencies, with all savings now going into Lido Firehouse expansion and renovation.
Additionally, he defended the shower rooms and upgraded restrooms at HQ, that took some flack from Point Lookout residents saying: “frankly, its disgraceful when our young people respond to medical emergencies or are crawling in god knows what, and we ask them to take whatever bodily fluids they get on them or whatever else they deal with home to their family to shower at home” after a call. He also explained the “bunk rooms” are flexible-designed to be used for other purposes at any given time.
In further reference to efforts to defeat the measure and save Ye Olde Firehouse, Andy sternly told the crowd: “I don’t need anyone telling me about fond memories at Ye Olde Firehouse.
I was there. They weren’t.”
He also told the group: “I will answer any questions. Find me at the firehouse, I will tell you fact. ”
After the presentation questions were taken.
First, Lido Dunes Civic member Addi Quinn said “(helping residents during the aftermath of superstorm Sandy) You made it very clear it was Point Lookout AND Lido, not just Point Lookout”. She went on to add, “I care more about this firehouse than where I am going to have a christening.”
Lido Dunes Civic Association Vice President Mike Fichtelman said, “We appreciate all the hard work. My opinion is this is not alot of money.
They are spending $50 million next door (Long Beach Boardwalk etc) so people can ride bicycles. This is about life and death and about people getting up at 2am to save our lives. This is not alot of money. ”
Greg Nahan, from Lido Homes Civic said “I wanted to do something to help. The Fire Dept needs to be attracting the younger generation.
“We do have our functions here,” he said of the spartan room we were in. “It would be helpful to the team you have here, can this room be upgraded to be more than it is?”
Andy said some small work is already planned for the sparse room, it was open for discussion, but the funds would have to come from somewhere.
Point Lookout Chamber of Commerce leader Richard Zampella spoke of the fact that people on fixed incomes and the younger generation are finding it hard to afford to live here. He alluded to dwindling membership from younger people in town.
Andy said the younger generation needs to step up and become more involved in the fire department. Their membership is needed.
A little later some of the younger members of the District arrived and were introduced as the next generation of the Department, to the applause of the crowd.
Another resident asked how come a bond, and not a grant from FEMA was needed. It was explained, after some chuckles, the department has tried for federal grant money before and only an incredibly small number of firehouses get money nationwide from FEMA. We were knocked out in the first round. He did say over recent years, they had applied for numerous grants and had received over $700,000 in grants that paid for most of the pumper truck and other things.
It was asked what would happen if they did end up getting money from Sandy etc. They said rather than lowering the amount you would pay annually, any amounts received, once paid, would retire the bonds sooner.
Commissioner Richter said “We were going to save it (asking for a bond issue rather than general fund and grants covering expenses) for when we really needed it. Now we believe we really need it and we need your support.
“The ultimate answer rests with you coming out and voting that this is a worthwhile endeavor”.