A small parcel on Oakland Avenue in Upper Port Jefferson is part of a planned sale between the Port Jefferson Fire District and Port Jefferson village in order to make room for Station Street, the last part of the eponymous Uptown Funk project.
Mayor Margot Garant said the village has purchased the property for $25,000 as part of a handshake deal with the fire department as an element of creating Station Street. That project has been on hold until final design plans come forward from the Conifer project, which would create mixed-use apartments and retail space in the footprint of the old Bada Bing parcel.
Though the property sale is only one bump toward getting the new street built, it does cross over a small piece of old time village history.
The property, a sand lot of only around 20 or so feet, was once home to one of the district’s siren towers. At its infancy, it was just a simple bell rung by hand to alert neighbors there was a fire.
Fire District Manager Doug Savage said that those towers were used by the district in the mid-20th century, though they were phased out with the advent of modern communication technology. At one point the district contained three of these sirens, with one near the elementary school still being around. The one on top of the firehouse is the only one still used.
“That’s all they had to alert people of a fire call,” he said.
The pole that contained the bell had rotted out, cracked and fell down likely over 20 years ago, Savage said.
Garant said it is a good deal for the fire department, who hasn’t found a use for the property in years.
“They could use the coin in the bank,” she said.
Tom Totton, the fire district commissioners chairman of the board, said the property is not big enough for anyone to build upon.
In a legal notice published by The Port Times Record, it notes the real property is valued at more than $20,000 and less than $100,000. The notice said it has also deemed the property surplus to the fire district.
“The village wants that piece of property, so we have a deal to sell them the property,” he said.