Contractors are still waiting for state approval to begin construction on the site of the Daniels Building downtown.

Bids on the building were opened in May but the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has to process, review and approve the bid winner.

\"Laferriere had the winning bid pending HUD approval,\" said Alison Meaders, St. Johnsbury downtown coordinator. Laferriere Construction is owned by Dennis Laferriere of Danville.

Meaders said the delay by HUD isn\'t a sign of problems, just typical business. In fact, Meaders is estimating a ground-breaking ceremony in early August.

Although the ceremony is still in the earliest stages, Meaders said she is looking forward to a big celebration.

\"More than standard investors holding a shovel,\" she said.

The Daniels Block burned in January of 2000. The fire killed three St. Johnsbury furloughees who were living in the building at the time.

It\'s not the first time the Daniels Block building burned. A fire destroyed another building in that spot in 1892 but was rebuilt in 1893. From that year until the 2000 fire, various businesses occupied the building including St. Johnsbury Trucking, Hovey\'s Department Store and Homer Fitts.

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