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Saving the brick walls of the Way Station, salon, and Masonic lodge in downtown Greenville is coming down to the wire for saving. Photo by Tanya Komas.

Who will save Greenville’s historic walls?

     Will the future downtown Greenville have a few historic walls from the past? That’s the fundamental question.

     Dr. Tanya Komas sent out a letter earlier today about the efforts to save the walls. “I am writing to update all of you, the incredible people who have put in effort, care, and resources, regarding where we are on the preservation of Greenville’s last standing historic buildings. Through a tremendous community and volunteer effort, we’ve completed four of the five steps needed to preserve the walls,” wrote Komas.

     The first four steps in preservation were undertaken with private funding, local and business contributions, and tremendous support through donations of time, materials, and professional expertise both regionally and nationally, according to Komas.

     Step five however entails a partial clean up by the state clean up program with remaining costs left to the property owners.  Komas is worried however that current efforts may not be enough to keep the walls standing through the completion of the step five debris removal and clean up process. This last step will be both resource intensive and expensive.

     The state clean-up program is unable to fully clean the sites given access issues into the buildings among many other concerns. This will leave the individual property owners personally responsible for the remaining clean-up—at a time when many property owners are strained for additional spending.  “Many of you have agreed that preserving these buildings is of value, with their historical connections to our collective past and as one of the anchors for rebuild and economic development in the downtown of Greenville,” wrote Komas.

     The owners of the three buildings in question will have to make decisions soon to demolish the walls because the state removal program is winding down this week and contractors will be leaving once work is done.

     Komas is hoping that if the Indian Valley community values the buildings and the attempt to save an historic piece of downtown Greenville, then the community might find a way to fund the rest of the clean up work which could keep the walls intact (such as they are). “This is an opportunity for the community to come together and decide if the remaining historic walls of Greenville are worth our continued support as a community,” said Komas.

     The Dixie Fire Collaborative is considering funding the remaining private clean-up and will be considering a proposal to do so on the evening of May 5. The cost of the remaining clean-up to the Masonic Hall, the Salon and the Way Station (Plumas County is working separately on the Sheriff Sub-station) is unknown.

     “We have requested a commitment for payments to a private contractor not to exceed $500,000 for the remaining clean-up, hoping this cost will be much less depending on what is left after the state debris removal program leaves,” said Komas.

     Komas is searching for other funding sources to help offset the cost of preservation but also wants the community to weigh in on the Dixie Fire Collaborative funding the endeavor. Last month, District Attorney Dave Hollister announced in his PG&E Settlement that the The DFC will receive $3 million dollars from PG&E. Komas and her organization would like community members to make their thoughts known to the DFC at their website

https://www.dixiefirecollaborative.org. Any suggestions regarding other funding should be emailed to Komas at [email protected].

     “I wish we had more time, but we don’t. The walls may come down in the next few days unless some other alternative emerges,” said Komas.

     Komas remains grateful regardless of the outcome.

     “Whatever the outcome, thank you for your support and consideration. The work and care given thus far have brought us together in amazing ways that transcend the physical buildings. Greenville will always find ways to celebrate and honor our town’s history even if we lose the walls,” said Komas.

The Way Station at the corner of hwy 89 and Main Street once looked like this. Photo submitted

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