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Crestview fire tower may be torn down

On just over two acres of land here in east Crestview sits the Crestview Environmental Park, complete with its enormous fire tower. But proposed upgrades to the park could see this Crestview landmark brought down.

The Kiwanis club requested to lead a movement to upgrade the park. They say it's largely unused, except for children's groups.

Jimmy Lundy  "The Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts have done that. But that's an occasional thing. So there's not a lot of use of the property."

The bluc hopes to add recreational areas and exhibits about the area's history. The fate of the tower, however, is up in the air.

Jimmy Lundy "Basically the staff had said there's a big legal liability with the fire tower."

The city is responsible for the tower, so if someone was hurt, it would be liable. Removing the tower was mentioned as an option. Some said it could save the county thousands on insurance and maintenance costs. But.....

Jimmy Lundy  "Some of the council came back and said 'well, if we can, why don't we save the tower? Because it is a unique, historical part of this property."

Taking down the tower but saving its observation platform as an exhibit was mentioned. Some residents in the area aren't excited about that idea either.

Ethel Bolt "That tower is a focal point of anybody that comes into town, and don't know this town."

Ethel Bolt has lived near the tower since 1962.

Ethel Bolt "It has a lot of history here, and it would be a shame if they take it away. I'd cry."   

The Kiwanis Club will hold a public meeting at the park February 22nd to take suggestions. The city is taking bids on the tower, and will make a decision in the future.

Now club members say regardless of the fate of the fire tower, they hope Crestview residents will be able to enjoy the upgraded park.