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Rubble removal delayed in downtown cleanup

Mayor: Work could begin in 2 to 4 weeks

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST
Mayor Steve Swanson

PROPHETSTOWN – The rubble from the July 15 fire in downtown Prophetstown will remain there for a little longer.

One of the eight building owners hasn’t agreed to the terms of the cleanup and thinks he can do it cheaper himself, said Mayor Steve Swanson, declining to identify the owner.

On Aug. 13, the Prophetstown City Council awarded a $207,306.23 bid to Fischer Excavating, of Freeport, to remove the rubble of 8 buildings destroyed in the fire. The cleanup could take about 3 weeks, Swanson said.

The day after the bid was awarded, Swanson told Sauk Valley Media the work could begin Aug. 27, but that date has been pushed back.

The cleanup will begin as soon as possible, which could be in the next 2 to 4 weeks, Swanson said, adding that he didn’t think this part would be a problem, but it has become one.

After the city found out the level of insurance coverage each building owner had, there was concern it wouldn’t have enough to cover the cost of the cleanup.

To cover the costs, the city set up a fund at Farmers National Bank and IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, called “Rebuild Prophetstown Strong,” and fundraisers were planned.

“The fundraisers are moving along,” Swanson said. “From what I hear, it sounds like some of the insurances are paying a little better than anticipated.”

To help

Prophetstown has set up a fund, "Rebuild Prophetstown Strong," to help clean up and rebuild the downtown. Donations can be made to Farmers National Bank branches in Prophetstown, Geneseo and Morrison, as well as IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union locations, one of which is in Prophetstown.

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