Affolder Implement to reopen service area October 1
Affolder Implement Sales, Inc. is approaching the end of a long and sometimes hard journey. The service area which was destroyed by fire last December has been rebuilt and should be opening by Oct. 1, according to business owner Greg Milholland.
"We should start doing some moving in next week, around the 25th," said Milholland. "We won't be ready to work until Oct. 1.
"It's been quite a journey, long and tough at times," Milholland said. "It is very fulfilling that so many people stood by us and continue to do business with us. There are times that I know that it's been unhandy for them to do business with us. The community came to our rescue. Words can't express our appreciation for the way that so many people assisted."
It was a cold December night when a quick moving blaze burst forth in the former service area. At the time, Milholland estimated that the damage from the fire was well over $1 million. In addition, there were six tractors and six Bobcats in the facility.
One of the major features of the new shop, said Milholland, is an overhead hoist that stretches from one end of the shop to the other. In addition, there are more computer terminals, an area for power washing and several other features that make work on vehicles very efficient and effective.
"We have much greater fire protection," Milholland said. "Everything is steel and concrete. There is an updated security system. Anyone thinking about breaking into the shop had better think twice."
Milholland indicated that an announcement would be forthcoming concerning an open house.
The owner credited a strong customer base and the willingness of area residents to help through the crisis for the company's ability to continue to operate. He noted that Ned Liechty and Ted Liechty were willing to make their shop space available, as did Moser Motor Sales, located on Main Street in Berne.
"We had a good customer base and great employees," said Milholland. "It shows their strength. It hasn't been easy for them; there were a lot of sacrifices made, but we never missed a payroll check.
"It's not always been easy. It's kind of like moving in with your neighbor," Milholland said. "You appreciate what everyone is doing, but you don't like being so close together all of the time. "
Milholland explained that the new facility is approximately 60 percent larger than what had been there before. The enlarged facility will allow workers to be able to turn out more work in a shorter time and accommodate customers more efficiently, said the owner.
"The building structure is much taller," explained Milholland, who explained that the taller building will allow much larger machinery to enter for service.
"All tools are new and much more efficient," Milholland observed. "They are more efficient as far as parts and washers. Testing equipment is more efficient.
"I can' thank people enough for all of their help and the way they continued to back us," added Milholland. "We are so thankful to be part of this community."
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