Fire hall back up for bid in Tupper Lake

TUPPER LAKE – The former fire hall at 21 High St. will soon be put back up for auction by this village.

The village Board of Trustees voted on a minimum bid of $72,000 for the property at a meeting Wednesday. Bid requests will be advertised next week and are expected to close around Sept. 9.

This marks the second time the building has been put up for sale. The board previously accepted a bid of $70,100 made by David Beausoleil of Tupper Lake in May, but he backed out after inspecting the building and finding a fuel tank with contaminated soil in a crawl space.

Village Code Enforcement Officer Pete Edwards says the tank and contaminated soil have since been removed and the building has “a clean bill of health” after an environmental group tested the soil and found the building’s soil to be free of contamination.

Beausoleil’s had been the highest of three bids and still more than $30,000 below the appraised value of $108,000. Trustees Ron LaScala and Tom Snyder were skeptical of undercutting the value. The vote to accept the high bid was split, with Snyder and LaScala opposed and Trustees David “Haji” Maroun and Leon Leblanc in favor; Mayor Paul Maroun voted in favor to break the tie.

Snyder was still weary of the sale at Wednesday’s meeting, but LaScala and other board members were in favor of selling the building with a bid minimum and the cost of labor included, to get it back on the tax roll.

The two-story building was built in 1949 to house the village’s volunteer fire department. It has been dormant since last fall, when the firefighters and village police moved into a new Emergency Services Building on Santa Clara Avenue.