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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Image makeover needed: In the soon-to-be-released grand jury report, the jurors said the county’s Alcohol and Drug and Mental Health departments are suffering from a poor public image.
  • Help at the jail: The Board of Supervisors approved the sheriff’s request to hire four corrections officers, but not before reminding him the county is facing a $3 million budget problem.
  • Water disaster?: The state has already enacted emergency conservation measures. The county is thinking about declaring a local disaster as well.

Plans to rebuild burned downtown block on hold

Debra Moore
Staff Writer
4/23/2014

 

Four months after the Dec. 15, 2013, fire that destroyed a half-block of downtown Quincy, the corner sits empty and will likely remain that way for a while.

Tommy and Carol Miles, who had been refurbishing the former Great Northern building (one of the two structures destroyed in the fire), hope to have building plans and permits completed within a month, but don’t anticipate construction beginning anytime soon.

“We’re in the middle of a legal process regarding the rebuilding costs,” Tommy Miles said during an interview last week. “We probably won’t be able to rebuild this season, but we are absolutely determined to rebuild as soon as possible.”

“We probably won’t be able to rebuild this season, but we are absolutely determined to rebuild as soon as possible.”
 
Tommy Miles
Business owner

Miles had been renovating the former hair salon and clothing store to be the home of Cornerstone Learning Center.

The fire also destroyed a building owned by brothers Sonny and Mo Khalid that housed the Pizza Factory, High Sierra Vapor and Quincy Thrift.

High Sierra has decided not to reopen, and Quincy Thrift is now open in the former La Casa Bella location opposite the post office.

In the immediate aftermath of the fire Sonny Khalid pledged to rebuild, but those plans are now uncertain. Khalid did not respond to requests for an update.

 

Cause of the fire

The cause of the fire remains unknown. The investigation ruled out all but three potential causes: arson, electrical or heat sources.

Quincy Fire Chief Robbie Cassou said, “The fire is still under investigation pending new evidence coming forward.”

In the interim the future of the corner of Main and Bradley, across from the courthouse in downtown Quincy, remains in limbo.

Nearby businesses lament the vacant lot because foot traffic in that portion of downtown has slowed.


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