November 24, 2012
Lincklaen town garage fire recovery slow
LINCKLAEN — The burned-out shell of the town highway garage still stands with charred equipment parked inside, nearly three months after the second blaze in less than a decade destroyed the structure.
The cause of the Aug. 28 blaze is still unknown, said Wayne Outwater, the town supervisor.
A compressor that sat in the northeast corner of the garage where the fire began is suspected of short-circuiting and starting the fire, Outwater said.
About eight years ago, the previous fire in 2004 was started by a truck that likely had faulty wiring, he said.
The insurance company is still trying to determine the cause of the August fire and has not yet settled, he said.
“We’re after them,” Outwater said, noting the town has hired an adjuster to speed up the process.
Outwater is hopeful the insurance company will make its determination before the end of the year so that the town can clean up the site and have it ready for construction in the spring.
“We’ve gone to bid for a new town barn,” Outwater said. The town has received bids to construct the building but is waiting to accept them, he said.
“They’re not official bids,” Outwater said, declining to say how much the bids were for.
The town is using a town garage behind the Town Hall on Union Valley Road that had previously been converted to storage.
The Town Clerk’s Offices, which were in the destroyed town highway garage, were relocated to the Town Hall, Outwater said.
“She’ll be there until we build a new building,” he said.
The town has replaced some of the equipment it lost in the August fire.
“We do have a couple new trucks and a new loader,” Outwater said.
A 2006 and a 2005 International dump truck, a 2001 Volvo dump truck, a loader and a 2012 John Deere tractor were destroyed in the fire.
Outwater estimates the cost of the damage at between $950,000 and $1 million.
As winter weather approaches, the town is “getting ready to survive,” Outwater said.
A lot of work was necessary to get the garage behind the Town Hall ready for use again, he said.
“We used that building for cold storage,” Outwater said, noting that the furnace and drains in the building needed to be fixed, and the toilets put back into operation.
The town clerk, highway superintendent and town council members could not be reached for comment.
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