Monticello seeks purpose to reuse historic fire station

Future on 100-year-old fire station in Monticello, Indiana

MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI) — The historic former Monticello Fire Department has been vacant for the past 18 months, and the White County city of 5,200 is now taking proposals for the building’s future.

The old fire station in Monticello dates back more than 100 years. Soon, it will have a new purpose. People are hoping it will be reused in a way that gives back to the community.

“This building has been serving its community for over a hundred years, and we’d like to see it continue,” said Nikie Jenkinson, executive director for White County United Way. “Through a partnership with the White County United Way, we can this bring back to use for our neighbors.”

She said the nonprofit organization has proposed the creation of a plan with the city to revitalize the building. Jenkinson said the city is still reviewing proposals and waiting for a few to be submitted. She hopes to have an answer by the end of the summer.

“If the United Way is able to use this building and make it a center of operations and a community center, then it will be a building that is available for all of our neighbors,” Jenkinson said.

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Cathy Gross, Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VI coordinator for the city of Monticello, said she worries nothing will happen to the building if something is not done soon.

“My fear is that it would just linger without any real purpose or future,” Gross said.

Brad Chapman has lived in Monticello for 17 years. He lives near the building and does not want a place with so much history to go to waste.

“It’s been a city building for a long time and it’s had some improvements over the years,” Chapman said. “I just don’t, I don’t see a benefit of it being torn down. It has got too much potential. It’s kind of like the main street in our town here.”