Downtown properties get new purpose

The question of what to do with city properties at 231, 233 and 237 Pennsylvania Avenue W. has been resolved, at least for the next year or two.

City Manager Nancy Freenock told the city’s Redevelopment Authority at its meeting Thursday morning that the City Fire Department will use the building to conduct training for firefighters because the fire training tower on the south side is not accessible due to construction at the sewage treatment plant on Harmar Street.

Chuck Hayes, RDA committee member, asked, “What do you mean by fire training?”

Building Code Officer Alan Gustafson said, “They try to simulate actual conditions, without fire.”

Freenock said that it would be hands-on training, not classroom work.

Gustafson added that there were leaks in two main sections of the roof, and there is standing water in the basement.

Hayes then asked how long the fire department would need to use the building, and Freenock said, “A maximum of two years, at least one.”

She added that the training was imperative for the firefighters.

Gustafson said, “Repairing the roof is something we might want to look into.”

He added that rehabilitating the building “would take an awful lot of money.”