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Wink’s Place will reopen if volunteers come forward – Knox County VillageSoup

ROCKLAND — The long-closed Wink’s Place at the city dump could reopen.

But before that can happen, volunteers are needed to staff the facility where people can drop off items and the public can pick them up for free.

The exchange store closed in January 2020 after police were called to report an aggressive customer in the store. The COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March 2020, making reopening more difficult.

Rockland City Manager Tom Luttrell announced at the Monday, May 9, city council meeting that an engineering report had been completed on the building and concluded it was in good enough condition to reopen. But volunteers are needed, he said.

A Facebook page was created named “Wink’s Volunteers”. Resident Jeff Obitz created the page. He asks people who are willing to volunteer to include their name on the page.

“If you’re serious about reopening this awesome resource to the public, consider dropping your name in the hat for the new group I just started on Facebook called Wink’s Volunteers. There we can talk about schedules and what needs to be done to get things done,” Obitz posted on Facebook.

Wink’s Place was opened in 2004 in memory of David “Wink” Winchenbach, who worked at the transfer station for 25 years. He died in 2001.

Rules approved in 2011 prohibit loitering and are limited to one visit per day for a maximum of 15 minutes. These rules were imposed following instances of people hanging around the store to pick up items that were being dropped off by other people.

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