The people who lost their homes in the Pierce Street fire more than one year ago deserve to have their homes rebuilt. A local property owner, Phyllis St. Laurent, is trying to do the right thing and replace the lost units.

A few days ago, I had to tell a family that there was a local petition to stop the rebuilding of the very homes that they lost in last year’s fire. The pain in their eyes hurt me deeply as I tried to hold back my own tears. How could I explain that other people in the community would oppose the replacement of their lost homes?

This family has children in college and in elementary school. They are involved in sports and extracurricular activities. They are widely known for their kindness, humor and love for the city they call home.

They are involved in the community, volunteering their time to help their neighbors, but now some of their neighbors are trying to deny them decent housing.

We must bring our collective efforts together to support positive developments in our city, such as St. Laurent’s plan to replace the units lost in the fire.

The petition to deny the fire victims the rebuilding of their homes is very hurtful and, if it is successful, the city will lose the opportunity for new development and increased revenue. We are counting on Lewiston residents to support the rebuilding after the tragic loss by opposing the petition.

Melissa Dunn, Lewiston

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