Center Township rebuilds after devastating garage fire

Nine months ago, a fire at the Center Township Garage destroyed all of the township's equipment

Center Township rebuilt its garage after a fire destroyed it almost a year ago.
Center Township rebuilt its garage after a fire destroyed it almost a year ago.

CENTER TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Moving on after a fire is difficult, and it’s something that something Center Township knows all too well.

Nine months ago, a fire at the Center Township Garage destroyed all of the township’s equipment, including dump trucks, mowers and three snow plows.

Now, the township is looking forward to the future and a bigger and better building that everyone can use.

Township Trustee Ken Schreffler said due to support from other communities, including those in Mahoning and Trumbull counties, the township was able to replace every piece of equipment lost in the fire. Most of the equipment that the township purchased was used, so officials were able to get them at a lower price.

The township also saved money on the cost of the rebuild by constructing two buildings instead of one, according to Township Trustee Greg Shive.

“Bids came so low, we got a hold of the insurance company and asked if we could add on to the building. The contractor said he couldn’t add on, he could only put on 22 feet, and after that, he had to build a new firewall and everything in there, so said he could build us this building cheaper than he could putting two more bays on that,” Shive said. “And, that really worked out well because this is away from the main building.”

The main building has a meeting room and offices. If there’s ever a disaster, people can stay there until they can relocate.

One unique thing you’ll find inside the building — church pews. The township bought four pews from Saint John’s Episcopal Church on Wick Avenue in Youngstown for its meeting room.

The pews cost $50 a piece, cheaper than buying cheap chairs, according to the township.

The second building will be used for storing equipment not used during the winter season.

Trustees say the cause of the fire is undetermined. While they lost a lot, they’re looking forward to the future.

“We built it bigger and better for the purpose, not only of road maintenance, but for the people of Center Township,” Schreffler said.

Trustees hope they’re in the new building by the end of the year. They plan on having a grand opening, letting everyone check out the building in person.

Township Trustees say they want to thank all of the neighboring communities who let them use equipment during the fire. They said during the rebuild, they haven’t missed any assignments and were able to continue its road programs.

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