Public hearing to be set regarding the L.F. Pike and Son building

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NORWAY — Selectmen on Thursday are expected to set a public hearing to force the immediate razing of the damaged L.F. Pike & Son store on Main Street.

Town Manager David Holt said because of the public notice requirement, the hearing will not be held until at least Dec. 18.

Construction barrels have been placed in an alley beside the building because officials fear the chimney could collapse at any time. The store’s pitched metal roof was built about 10 years ago over the original flat, wooden roof, which collapsed under heavy snow in March 2013. The collapse uncovered years of rot, mold and other structural problems.

The men’s clothing store was built in 1884 and closed in 2011, owner Lesley Gouin Dean of Stoneham said. She and her husband, Gary, initially wanted to make repairs but were forced to give up the effort, she said.

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On Nov. 6, the board unanimously approved issuing a demolition permit. Dean said then that she had financial concerns and needed time to come up with a viable plan to take the building down.

Later than month, the town proposed knocking it down with an excavator, and Dean would be responsible for removing the debris, which is expected to cost thousands of dollars. The town also asked that the area be temporarily roped off.

Dean said she did not to accept the town’s offer to immediately tear it down because she and her husband would not have enough time to remove the items they want to preserve.

The couple hope to rebuild a replica of the building on site next spring, she said.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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