Kansas Town Begins Rebuilding Its Downtown

By: The Associated Press; Greg Palmer
By: The Associated Press; Greg Palmer

ANTHONY, Kan. (AP) — A south-central Kansas community that lost a downtown block to a fire five years ago is preparing to start rebuilding.

The Hutchinson News reports a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled Thursday morning for the $3.5 million redevelopment project in Anthony.

Several businesses were destroyed on July 8, 2009, by a gas explosion and massive fire that burned for hours. The fire began when a truck broke through pavement in an alley, severing a gas line that then exploded.

Demolition began a year later, and a special sales tax was levied in the downtown area to fund the reconstruction.

The project calls for a building a two-story, 41,000-square-foot shell with nearly a dozen storefronts, which will then be up to individual property owners to complete.

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