Denison mayor Janet Gott issued a declaration naming the 300 block of Main Street a local disaster Thursday afternoon. The declaration will allow the city to utilize additional city resources to assist in the clean up and recovery effort.

“Even though the fire is out, our efforts to clean up and help impacted residents continues,” Denison Fire Rescue Chief Gregg Lloyd said in a news release issued Thursday just after 5:30 p.m.

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The declaration includes the 300 block of Main Street and all adjacent public rights-of-way as well as public property. It directs city staff to take all steps necessary to secure Main Street and clear and clean the site of all fire damage.

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Traffic will remain blocked along portions of the 300 block of West Main Street. Sidewalks on the south side remain accessible to businesses and pedestrians.

“As we move forward together, it most assuredly will be overwhelming at times, but we are here to help those affected work through the process,” Denison Mayor Janet Gott said in the release. “Our commitment is to work diligently in doing what Denison does best: engage everyone involved, make a plan, and move forward together. We will overcome the tragedy of yesterday, the day that set us on a different path.”

The city is offering all available support to those who have been impacted by the fire city officials said during a press conference Thursday and reiterated in Thursday afternoon's news release. The city will be leading the clean up effort as power has been restored to parts of the 300 block. The city will be working with professionals to evaluate the remaining structures to allow residents and business owners to reenter property where possible.

The city will be providing unlimited roll-off dumpsters and other services to assist with the cleanup. The city will continue to control access to the 300 block of Main Street while cleanup continues.

The Denison Police Department will continue to have a presence in the area, the release said. The city is also waiving building permit fees while it will extend the recently created Downtown New Construction Incentive to help with reconstructing the buildings that were lost in the fire. The city will also be considering additional tools to make available during the disaster relief.

“The local disaster declaration enables the City to use its staff and equipment to help with clean up,” Denison City Manager Jud Rex said in the news release. “Our goal is to clean up and open up Main Street, restoring it to the vibrant place it has always been. We want people back downtown shopping, eating, and living as quickly as possible, while at the same time supporting those impacted by the fire.”

The city will be holding a special meeting next week to receive updates on the recovery process as well as to consider additional support.

“The landscape of the 300 block of West Main will never be the same, but together we can make a new landscape,” Gott said. “One that will serve the heart of our city for the next 100 years, and, in so doing, we will forever bring honor to what was lost.”

The city will be sharing information through the city’s online tools including its social media channels as well as the city’s website, www.cityofdenison.com.