The Holladay City Council is asking residents to put a price on a piece of local history.
The city needs to build a new fire station on the land currently occupied by the historic Casto home, and city leaders are asking residents to weigh in on two options at a public hearing Thursday pay about $60,000 to move and preserve the home, or spend $10,000 to tear it down.
The house dates to the mid-1800s, when settler Santa Anna Casto built a small brick home on what is now known as Casto Lane, according to a history of the property on the city's website. The city secured outside funding to move the home from that spot in 2001 to its current location across from Olym-pus Junior High at approximately 2100 East and Murray-Holladay Road. If moved again, the home would rest on property behind City Hall or on the nearby sports fields.
The Council is split on the issue, with some in favor of moving the home and finding a new use, and others supporting demolition.
"Holladay's history should not be disposable," said Councilman Lynn Pace. "Preserving this and other historic buildings is a good thing for our community."
The house is one of the few remaining pioneer structures in the Holladay and Millcreek area, Pace argued, and once destroyed, will be lost forever. The estimated $60,000 is already included in the fire station construction bond, he added, and the amount is too small to complete another project on the city's to-do list, such as landscaping the Village Center.
But others think the time has come to bid the little house goodbye. Councilman Steve Gunn said most residents have never heard of the home, and moving it is not a good use of city funds. The home has no current purpose, he argued, and while some have suggested turning it into a museum or office space for the city, Gunn believes a use should be specified in advance if the building is to be saved.
"We should tear it down and spend the money we save on important and pressing projects, first and foremost being the construction of a fire station which is both functional and esthetically pleasing," he said.
Construction on the new fire station is expected to begin this summer, said City Manager Randy Fitts, so the council hopes to reach a decision on the home in April.
Relocate or demolish?
Holladay residents are invited to share their opinions on the fate of the Casto home at a public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, in city council chambers, 4580 S. 2300 East.