How city is still running after city hall burns down - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

How city is still running after city hall burns down

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

OIL TROUGH, AR (KAIT) –On December 13th the Oil Trough City Hall burned down.  Over the past month they've had to completely rebuild the paperwork side of the city.  When the building burned they didn't only lose the actual physical structure, but everything that was inside.

"Pictures and trophies and things you can't replace," said Oil Trough Mayor Bobby Davis.

Mayor Bobby Davis said the fire started around 3 o'clock in the morning.

"My husband called and said you don't have to go to work today City Hall is burning," said Oil Trough City Secretary Amy Goyne.

Goyne has worked for the city of oil trough for fifteen years.  She is currently running the city business out of her home.

"It was sad and it's just devastating to realize everything that was there is totally gone," said Goyne.

There were sixty years of documents inside this building.  Since they lost everything in the fire, they've had to start from scratch.

"When they let me go in there it was just all charred paper and when you would open the drawer of a file cabinet or something it would just be ash," said Goyne

In the past month they've had all of the bank statements printed, ordered new checks and started new files.

Since the fire, Mayor Davis said he's discovered that this building was under-insured.  Because of that fact it may take a little bit longer to get a new building up and going.

"We had $102,000 worth of insurance on this building and we probably lost around $250,000," said Davis.

The city hall was built back in the 60's and the community center was added on about twenty years ago.  From family and class reunions to gatherings for senior citizens, Mayor Davis said the building was used every week.

"We'll get it back, it's just going to be slow," said Davis.

They hope to be able to move city operations out of the Goyne's home and into a temporary trailer that has been moved into the city hall parking lot.

The fire is being investigated as arson by the Independence County Sheriff's Department.  If you have any information about the fire or those who could be responsible, you are urged to contact the sheriff's department at 870-793-8838.

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