Contract near in Forks fire rubble cleanup

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — A contract could be signed by Friday to demolish a charred — and formerly cherished — downtown building.

The City Council on Monday unanimously approved the low bid of $45,679 by D&H Enterprises of Forks to demolish the remains of the city-owned International Order of Odd Fellows hall on North Forks Avenue.

The adjacent former Dazzled by Twilight souvenir store, which was devoted to the Forks-set books and movies, was destroyed in the same Oct. 29 fire, which federal authorities have attributed to an electrical malfunction.

At the time, the building was vacant and for sale.

Building owner Alaska Financial Co. of Anchorage sought contact information about D&H and intends to demolish the building at the same time as the former IOOF hall.

“My understanding is Alaska Financial Co. is having a conversation discussing their needs with the same contractor, but we are not privy to those discussions,” City Attorney Rod Fleck said.

The city’s contract with the company will be signed by Friday at the earliest and Monday or Tuesday at the latest, he said.

30-day project

Teardown must be complete by 30 days after the contract is signed.

The city also must obtain a final permit from the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency.

“What with us running into the holiday season, we’re all trying to look at our calendars and looking to see what can get done when,” Fleck said.

The former IOOF hall contained La Tienda, a Latin American-themed store, and the Rainforest Art Center, which hosted art classes and plays.

The city will spend insurance proceeds to cover the cost of 24-hour security to patrol the ruins.

“It’s not inexpensive,” Fleck said.

“People keep trying to move things from the site.”

Insurance companies for the city, the store and the art center are discussing how they will proceed, Fleck said.

“It’s now at a point where insurance companies are talking among themselves.”

$3.7 million

The former IOOF hall and property were insured for $3.7 million.

“Our insurance company is telling us they are proceeding with the process of determining replacement value, and we might hear something in preliminary form in early January,” Fleck said.

A compensation amount will be set by March 1, he said.

“I’m telling everyone the 1st of March because if it’s earlier, we’ll be happy,” Fleck said.

The public process of deciding what might be built at the 35 N. Forks Ave. art center site likely will begin between in late January and mid-February.

“We’ll do preliminary public conceptual planning with folks in different venues,” Fleck said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 12. 2012 5:52PM
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