Chincoteague Council Should Slow Down on Purchase of Firehouse

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Dear Editor:

As a resident of Chincoteague for 20+ years with family history that goes back to before we were connected to mainland, I would like to respond to articles from the Beacon and the Eastern Shore Post regarding the Chincoteague Town Council’s decision to purchase the old firehouse for $600K.

I can appreciate that the town would like to see this historic structure maintained and put to good use. But how much thought did the council give to this endeavor? Council members Ellis and Frese both made statements about inspections such as HVAC, electrical and plumbing, items that I would bet any prospective buyer would insist on. Councilman Reed remarked about asbestos could be an issue — a very expensive issue.

So, if we are going to invest $600K to better our town, maybe the council should look no further than the recent saltwater intrusion. The base of our bridge flooded up and down Main Street and down Maddox almost to our pharmacy.  Maddox was inundated with saltwater, the circle was flooded not to mention the business around that area that may have suffered water damage.

How about taking $600K and using it to build some retainer walls on both sides at the base of our bridge? What about along Maddox where the marsh is? This would benefit all of us, our businesses and the tourists who come to our island. In addition, any members of the council who are also members of the Chincoteague Fire Department, maybe you should abstain from voting due to conflict of interest?

Kathy Scott, Chincoteague