MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Firefighters will soon move out of Moss Point's Central Fire Station and into a new state-of-the-art facility nearby. Instead of condemning the iconic old building, Mayor Aneice Liddell promises a new start for it. She's asking for citizens' input on what that new start should be.
"We're going to keep it and restore it," Liddell said. "We just need to come up with what we're going to do with it when we restore it."
A new city hall is going up across the street. The police department next door is set for renovation and repair soon. Liddell wants the Central Fire Station to stand next to them for years to come, as a tribute to the city's past.
"Moss Point, 30 years ago, tore down a lot of buildings off of Main Street," Liddell said. "We have very few buildings left in our downtown. So we need to keep some of our history. And it means a lot to me to do that."
The building wasn't always a fire station. In fact, after it was built in 1926, it housed the waterworks department. Liddell said it has also served as City Hall. She said the possibilities for the next step in this structure's evolution are endless.
"It's been brought to my attention that it could be a meeting room, a meeting hall," Liddell said. "I've been told that it could be a coffee shop, even an archive building for our retention file."
Captain Rodger Mann with the Moss Point Fire Department said although he's glad to leave the building, he's also thrilled it's not leaving Moss Point. He has his own ideas for the building's future.
"My thought would be some type of museum," Mann said. "Something to display our history. I feel we have a real rich history. I don't know much about it, but I was born and raised [here] and I love Moss Point. So it would be something good to have."
Liddell said she wants Moss Point residents to weigh in on the decision.
"It's their town," Liddell said. "We're elected service people, and we were elected by the citizens. So we've got to get their input. I mean, it's their city, and I think it's important that they have some say in the process.
There's only one option she won't consider.
"The only thing that I'm not open to is tearing it down," Liddell said.
Liddell said she hopes to hold a town hall meeting to discuss ideas in late November. A date has not been set.