Gibson Township vows to rebuild after municipal building fire


GIBSON TOWNSHIP, SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A community in Susquehanna County is vowing to rebuild one day after its municipal building was destroyed by fire.

Gibson Township leaders met with their insurance adjusters Thursday and hope to begin moving forward soon.

In a matter of minutes, the township’s building along Route 92 was reduced to rubble.

Township leaders say they’ve already secured a new site to hold their monthly meeting next week.

The remnants of the Gibson Township municipal building were still smoldering Thursday.

As supervisors come to grips with the devastating fire, they say the loss will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“We’re going to start a new building as soon as we can. We’re not waiting,” Gibson Township supervisor Leonard Bartkus said.

While the township lost three of its six trucks not everything was destroyed.

Many township records, including the minute books from public meetings, were able to be salvaged from two fire-proof filing cabinets.

“We have two that we dug out yesterday with the excavator. We pried them open this morning, a little bit of water damage, a little bit of smoke but it saved everything,” Gibson Township supervisor Brad Marcho said.

While the township’s computer was destroyed that information can be retrieved as well.

“Our computer was backed-up off site so we really didn’t lose that much. We’re fortunate there!” Marcho said.

The building also served as a voting precinct for Gibson Township. Supervisors are now working with county leaders to find a new, temporary location.

The township’s next monthly meeting which is scheduled for Monday night at 7:00 PM will go on.

It will be held about two miles away at a building owned by Tompkins Engineering on State Route 2067.

As for snow plowing, supervisors have a brand new truck they can use and they say other communities are already lining up to help.

“Forest Lake Township, they offered a truck so tomorrow I’m going over to pick the truck up and I had another township way down in Dallas, around Wilkes-Barre, they want to send a truck up so we’re doing pretty good,” Bartkus said.

A state police fire marshal is still investigating the cause of the fire but officials say it does not appear to be suspicious.

Township supervisors say as soon as all of the debris is cleared they plan to bring in a temporary trialer so that township business can continue as normal.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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