Built in 1888, the former fire house has variously served as a polling place, a community building and a thrift shop. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY KATE COUGH

Ticonic firehouse building demolition postponed

ELLSWORTH — The former Ticonic firehouse was thrown a lifeline this week.

Webber Energy, which had been issued demolition permits for the firehouse and the barn behind it, “volunteered to wait” to tear down the buildings until after an Appeals Board hearing scheduled for Oct. 22, Code Enforcement Officer Lori Roberts said Friday.

Webber had been issued demolition permits on Sept. 10. Judy Blood, a neighbor who owns property abutting the building, filed an appeal to block the permits two days later.

The Ticonic firehouse in 1910

Speaking at a City Council meeting on Sept. 17, Blood said she had collected 400 signatures from residents who support the preservation of the building. Blood also criticized the appeals process.

“There is presently no stipulation for a stay or rescinding the permit during the appeals process,” Blood said.

“An appeal process is useless if a building can be demolished before an appeal is heard,” Blood said. “The right to a fair appeal remains in jeopardy.”

Terri Weed Cormier, president of the Ellsworth Historical Society, and resident Rebecca Maddocks-Wilbur also spoke against the demolition during the meeting.

“Please stand up to Webber,” said Maddocks-Wilbur, “and hold them accountable to the agreements they made.”

Webber purchased the property in 2005 from the city for $5,000.

Kate Cough

Kate Cough

Kate covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. She lives in Bar Harbor and welcomes story tips and ideas. She can be reached at [email protected]

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