Proposals due for neglected fire station on Yarmouth's Cousins Island

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YARMOUTH — The town, which hopes to sell the aging Cousins Island Fire Station, is accepting proposals for its redevelopment next week.

Proposals for the fire station at 373 Cousins St. must be submitted to Town Hall by 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 31.

The Town Council decided to sell the fire station, which opened in April of 1958, after it went unused for more than 30 years.

“It’s not something we’re using for town function and the council decided to sell it to put the money into town function,” Town Manager Nat Tupper said.

Tupper said the council decided to accept proposals instead of listing the property with a real estate agency so the council could be involved in determining the building’s fate.

In a public meeting held to hear the concerns of fire station neighbors, Tupper said many people said they didn’t want the station to be turned into a commercial business. The residents said they don’t want increased traffic or the character of the neighborhood to change.

Tupper said the neighbors would like to see the station converted into a residential home. He said this will be taken into consideration when deciding who the property will be sold to.

“Anything that challenges or looks for change won’t be looked upon favorably,” Tupper said.

Also being taken into consideration will be the price offered in the proposals, although the best interest of the town, as determined by the council, will be considered over price. According to Tupper, the land and the building were valued at $183,000 in 2003, the last time the property was assessed.

The fire station is a one-story masonry structure on slab of about 1,800 square feet. It has 0.29 acres of land.

The Town Council will also consider the quality and completeness of the proposals, the past performance or reputation of the bidders in terms of their ability to successfully carry out the proposals, the consideration of the neighbors, and the need for and use of the proposal.

The fire station, which has frontage on Cousins Street and Almonte Avenue,  is being used for storage by the town. It houses an antique fire truck, but is too small to hold new equipment. Tupper said the station is not being well cared for by the town, and is being sold as is.

Proposal documents must be sent or brought to Tupper’s office at 200 Main St. in a sealed envelope. Tupper will publicly open and summarize the proposals on July 31. A citizen’s advisory committee will review all proposals and will report to the council by Aug. 7.

The committee includes Councilors Pat Thompson and Randall Bates, Cousins Island Littlejohn Island Improvement Association representative Susie Kendeigh, fire station neighbor Donna Felker, Seashore Land Association representative Mike Gentile, Planning Board member Stacy Stevens, Fire Chief Michael Robitaille, and Tupper.

The committee will recommend one or two proposals to the Town Council on or around Aug. 21. A public hearing will precede a council vote.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Sidebar Elements

After being used as a storage facility for decades, the Cousins Island Fire Station will be repurposed after the Town Council selects a buyer. Proposals are due next week.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.