“When you drive past here and don’t even notice it, that’s sad,” said Mayor Carol Johnson.
But people finally took notice Thursday. From the ground to the roof, people took pictures to document a moment they never thought would come.
“We started taking bets on when it would start getting cleaned up,” joked Ron Stamm, a barber who works at Willsea Barbershop across the street.
Stamm has had to look at the twisted metal and burnt rubble from the fire that happened in April 2012.
Over the next 25 months, obstacle after obstacle kept the city from moving forward, until now.
Mayor Johnson said with the help of local and state politicians, they were able to get a $100,000 Brownfield Grant to pay for cleanup. The area will soon become a Hometown Pharmacy.
“People coming through can see this is finally the end of something tragic,” said Mayor Johnson.
It’s also finally put to rest what’s become the standard question in Gobles, of when this will be cleaned up.
“Seeing is believing,” said Stamm.
The cleanup is expected to take about two weeks. Construction of the new Hometown Pharmacy is expected to be complete by the end of the year. It’s just the latest sign of progress in Gobles. According to Mayor Johnson. they’re building a brewery, and the voters approved a technology mileage for the local schools.