Wolf Point Herald

GNDC To Seek Funding To Level Gysler Furniture Store Ruins

Great Northern Development Corporation presented a proposal to the Wolf Point City Council Monday, May 19, to fund the cleanup of the fenced-off debris field in downtown Wolf Point that was the site of Gysler Furniture and Appliance until a rapidly-moving fire leveled both 84-year-old Gysler buildings the corner of First Avenue South and Anaconda Street Monday, March 10. A fenced-off debris field with the remains of masonry walls, rubble and other debris have left a blemish on downtown Wolf Point. The longtime Wolf Point furniture and appliance retailer has moved into what will be at least a temporary location on Main Street on the opposite side of Sherman Park. GNDC executive director Martin DeWitt told the council that the site could qualify as a designated Brownfield site where expansion, redevelopment or reuse of the property might be complicated by the presence of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The designation could make the city eligible for federal grant funding to clean up the site. There was discussion of the current appearance of the downtown area and 2015 being the centennial year. “There would be zero or very minimum liability for the city,” DeWitt said of a Brownfield program grant. Mayor Chris Dschaak called for volunteers to serve on a committee to look into a cleanup. Appointed were council members Rollie Paulson, Laurie Evans, Tina Bets His Medicine, Public Works Director Richard Isle and City Attorney Jordan Knudsen. The committee will meet Thursday, May 29, at 6:30 p.m. Asked if a cleanup during the coming summer would be possible, DeWitt responded that such a timeline would be aggressive, but the end of the summer would be possible.