Bowlus Fighting to Save Historic Fire Hall
BOWLUS -- A group of Bowlus residents are beginning a campaign to keep its original fire hall a part of the community.
The fire hall was built in 1937 as a project by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) -- part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal during the Great Depression.
Today, a newer fire hall has caused the old building to essentially become a garage for first response vehicles and the city is reportedly not going to pay for heating this fall -- making its future uncertain.
To come up with a plan for the building, an informational meeting is being held tonight (Monday) by the Friends of the Fire Hall hosted by Jordie Stay.
"[The fire hall] was one of the buildings I first recognized while driving into town," says Stay, a resident of Bowlus for 26 years and owner of Jordie's Trailside Cafe. "It has a ton of character to it [as] a stone building, and it's always been an attractive looking building in town."
Stay says she would like to see the building be preserved as a community building -- possibly a town museum.
"Through working with everyone, hopefully we can come up with a really good plan," Stay says. "It's not going to be an overnight deal but with a good team working together, I'd love to see it accomplished hopefully in the near future."
Before holding any fundraisers or raising money from the community, Stay says Friends of the Fire Hall first needs to be approved for the non-profit status by the state -- a process which could take up to a year.
"There is an urgency to get it done as soon as possible."
Going forward, Stay says Friends of the Fire Hall will likely hold more meetings and start campaigning online using Facebook and other social media.