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Port Council Approves Local Realtor to Sell Fire House

Port Washington Common Council's decision to contract with Tom Didier Re/MAX United includes a 14-day exclusion for the Port Historical Society to make a deal.

A controversy that regarding the fate of the historic fire engine house began a new chapter on Tuesday after the Port Washington Common Council approved a local real estate company to list the building for sale.

The council voted 8-1 to approve the sale to be contracted with  of Port Washington. .

Alderman Jim Vollmar voted against the decision; he said he has been against the sale of the building from the beginning, continually voting against it at council meetings.

But, he said, if the building is going to be sold — he's glad to see it go to a local agent.

The historic fire engine house, 102 E. Pier St.,  the . The Port Washington Historical Society first began talking with city officials about the building on June 1, 2010, when discussion arose about possibly leasing it from the city, according to the society's president, Jackie Oleson. But costs associated with leasing and upkeep of the historical characteristics of the building have left the city and the society unable to agree on terms.

The approved contract for the sale of the building includes an exception period for specified interested parties to come forward with a bid to the purchase the building. The only remaining previously interested party is the historical society, which .

The typical exception period would be 30 to 60 days, City Planner Randy Tetzlaff said in a letter to the council. Despite arguments by some aldermen for a longer exclusion period, the council approved a 14-day time frame.

Vollmar sees this exclusion as a good way for the broker to meet with historical society members and see what options are available for the society to afford the building — something that may take a little time.

But that's not how all the aldermen saw it.

"I think this writing has been on the wall for a long, long time," Ald. Joe Dean said. "I think 14 days is plenty of time given that (the historical society has) had ample time to discuss this, and I think its fair to the listing broker … to get this moving a little bit."

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