Months after the Lansdowne and Violetville volunteer fire departments merged, the Violetville fire house has been sold.
The brick building on Benson Avenue was sold July 28 for $1.1 million, said Michael Sparks, the fire department's president.
Sparks declined to name the buyer and online state property records don't list the recent ownership change. The property is zoned for light manufacturing uses, according to county records.
Sparks said it was in the department's financial interest to sell the Violetville station, about 10 minutes from the Lavern Avenue Lansdowne station, as the fire department plans to build a larger fire station on Kessler Road, across the street from Riverview Elementary School.
After paying off the building's mortgage and bills, the sale of the Violetville station puts $811,000 into a fund to build a station in Lansdowne. The fund has about $830,000 in it, Sparks said.
An initial estimate for a new fire station was $3.2 million, which Sparks said was too expensive. As the fire department waits for a new estimate, he said the goal is to build a long-lasting and cost-effective building.
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Sparks said the fire department will receive some funds from Baltimore County for the project.
"As we work with Lansdowne and Violetville in the months to come, and as they firm up plans for the project, the county's role will become clearer," Baltimore County Fire Department spokeswoman Elise Armacost wrote in an email.
Baltimore County has a mix of volunteer- and staff-run fire stations. The 32 volunteer fire stations are independently organized under the auspices of the Baltimore County Volunteer Firemen's Association.
The volunteer fire departments are mainly funded through fundraisers and community activities, such as bingo.
Sparks said at the time of the merger, the goal was to move into a new building within two years. The fire department is on pace for a construction start in April, which would keep the project on schedule, he said.
The two fire departments, each with more than 100 years of history in Baltimore County, merged in February.
Sparks said the fire department would evaluate what to do with its Lavern Avenue building once the new building is complete.