MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - A historic building in downtown Moss Point could be coming down. The mayor and board have voted to demolish the Old Central Fire Station because it's an eyesore and has extensive damage.
Last year, the previous administration also voted to tear it down, but then Mayor Aneice Liddell vetoed that move.
The building has been part of Moss Point since the 1920s, but some Moss Point firefighters feel it's time for it to go.
"I've been here for 17 years, but the last five I worked at this station and it is way past due being updated. When we were here, it had mold, damp, and cramped quarters," Firefighter Floyd Downs said.
Moss Point Main Street Coordinator Kristen Holley also believes the old fire station is in really bad shape, but understands why some folks feel it is worth saving.
"It is a shame we are losing a historic building, because there are grants to preserve it. But at the same token, there are options to redevelop the site to encourage new growth," Holley said.
Mayor Billy Broomfield agrees it may not be the most popular decision, but one that had to be done to improve the city's landscape.
"This administration agreed with the last one that this building should be demolished with the understanding that we are not trying to destroy any history," Broomfield said. "We also need to understand this building has been gutted, and it has been a number of things since it has been a fire station. So, the authenticity as it's related to the historical value, in our mind, has been diminished. Coupled with that, this building is an eyesore."
The new building won't be coming down anytime soon. The city is working to get the funding to begin the project.
"Once we get through the budget process, we will know what we have to work with," Broomfield said.
The city is now considering some way to still preserve the building's historical value once gone.
"What we propose to do is tear this building down and whatever we replace with, put up a monument using the bricks from this facility, with a plaque to explain historical data associated with the old fire station," said Broomfield.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has not given the green light to Moss Point for the demolition. The city's attorney has filed a notice of intent, but the preservation committee doesn't meet until the fall to consider the move.