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Lewiston officials optimistic about recouping some fire costs

6:15 PM, May 10, 2013   |    comments
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LEWISTON, Maine -- After three fires in a week, the city of Lewiston expects to rack up a sizeable bill.

Director of Budget and Purchasing Norman Beauparlant said that when you factor in the costs of overtime, supplies, demolition, tipping fees, lost taxe revenue, utilities and building security, among other costs, the city expects to the cost to be about $360,000.

By far the biggest costs are associated with demolishing the buildings that were destroyed by the fires. That's estimated to be close to $200,000.  And Beauparlant said he does think the city will get much of that money back. Lewiston entered into consent agreements with the owners of the buildings at Blake and Bates Streets as well as 114-118 Bartlett Street. Under the agreements, the buildings' owners are supposed to pay the city back, either right away or through a special tax.

Beauparlant said, "So there's a portion of time that we're holding these costs. But because we have consent agreements, at some point in time we're likely to be reimbursed for it."

The city also is trying to capture some state and federal money to help defray the costs as well.

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