NORWAY — The owner of the L.F. Pike & Son store on Main Street has decided not to accept the town’s offer to immediately tear down the historic building because of safety concerns.

“We’ve decided to say ‘no thank you’ to the town,” owner Lesley Gouin Dean said in an email to the Sun Journal on Friday.

Dean said the offer would not have given the Deans enough time to carefully remove everything that they can before the building is razed.

Much has already been put in storage, but Dean said they need more time to carefully take apart and preserve what has been contained in the approximately 140-year-old building.

Dean said the next step is to remove all of the metal, such as sprinklers and heating systems in the building.

It is unclear what the town’s next step will be. At last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Selectman Bruce Cook had suggested that the chimney should be removed if the Deans chose not to immediately take down the building.

On Nov. 6, the board unanimously approved issuing a demolition permit for the 1885 building, historically known as the Blue Store. Dean said she had financial concerns and needed time to come up with a viable plan to take it down.

The town’s proposal to Dean last week was that the town knock it down with an excavator. Dean would be responsible for removing the debris, which is expected to cost thousands of dollars. It also asked that the area be temporarily roped off.

The alternative, which neither party wants, is for the town to wait until a heavy, wet snow causes the building to collapse, potentially causing harm to nearby buildings, pedestrians and motorists.

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.

Dean and her husband, Gary, initially wanted to repair the building but were forced to give up the effort.

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