Center Twp. makes swift recovery after fire 14 months ago

The township had an open house for its new government building Sunday; The old one was destroyed in a Feb. 2016 fire

The township had an open house for its brand new government building Sunday. The old one was destroyed in a fire in February 2016 that ruined almost everything inside.

CENTER TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – A lot can change in 14 months — Center Township in Columbiana County can certainly prove that.

The township had an open house for its brand new government building Sunday. The old one was destroyed in a fire in February 2016 that ruined almost everything inside.

All but two of the government’s vehicles had to be replaced. The survivors were a backhoe and a police cruiser.

“[The backhoe] kept us going through the winter,” Center Township Trustee Greg Shive said. “It helped a lot.”

The township had an open house for its brand new government building Sunday. The old one was destroyed in a fire in February 2016 that ruined almost everything inside. “They’re just a piece of the history we used to have,” said Trustee Tim Novak. “We had to replace stuff — like I said it was almost kind of a blur when we just had those two things left.”

Novak said the aftermath of the fire that happened 14 months ago looked like a war zone.

“Disbelief,” he said. “We all reported to the fire — it was two o’clock in the morning, 30 mile per hour winds — the fire department trying to do everything they could.”

Now, the Police Chief’s office, the trustee meeting room and the garage are all brand new.

Bids to construct the buildings were so low, they were able to purchase two.

And the township bought most of the vehicles used, some coming from Wisconsin and Alabama. Shive knows where all of them came from —  saying it’s a sign of how many communities helped them out.

“The third truck came from Unity Township, number four truck came from Beaver Township,” he said.

Center Township has been operating out of the building for around three months. Novak said he would not have believed they’d have an open house this soon after the fire.