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MOUNT VERNON — Businesses in the vicinity of the paving and construction projects going on in the city are coping with the disruptions, but business has been affected and some are not happy about the amount of communication by the city.
Dr. John Fowler, whose dental office is at 104 E. High St., said he realizes the work needs to get done, but it has been frustrating at times and he doesn’t feel the city has communicated as well as it should about what’s going on. He said he wasn’t able to get in on Monday, and there were appointments they had to change because wheelchair or handicapped access was not available.
Just the courtesy of better communications would have helped, he told the News.
Kenneth Brown, manager of The Vac Shop at 1 E. High St., said he closed down for two days because of the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival and then the paving started.
He said he was able to direct some customers in by having them park in the Plaza garage and walk to the store, but he might as well have closed another day or two.
He said he thought the city generally did a good job of letting them know about disruptions, but it was frustrating at times. It took him 20 minutes to get into work one morning, when it usually only takes him a couple minutes, and it took an hour one day to get to Lanning’s and back.
Having Public Square open again has improved the situation, even with West High Street being closed because of the crosswalk construction west of the square.
Erron Porter, owner of Flappers, said the main disruption has been to their lunch time business. Business at night has been near normal.
“There’s not lot of parking around here and at lunch people don’t have time to hunt for a place to park and walk,” she said. “People can find other places to go.”
Angie Bartolucci, an employee at Hottie Body Tan at 3 E. High St., said they were able to stay open through everything but the Dan Emmett festival.
She said customers were still able to get in, but as this is not their busy season, the disruptions were not as noticeable.
Next door at Hottie Hair, at 7 E. High., owner Amber Spitzer said since she is there by appointment, there were days she didn’t even come in.
She was also unhappy about the amount of communication from the city about what would be happening.
“First Fridays don’t help either. They put everything on the other side of the square and just cut us off over here,” she said.
She also criticized the sidewalks (rebuilt last year), noting “They put in these nice new walks, and then put the trees right were the passenger doors open.”
But probably the business most affected by construction is Peppy’s Pull-Thru on South Main Street at Parrott Street.
Megan Alexander said they have tried to stay open with as normal hours as possible and she credited loyal customers with continuing to patronize them.
She said there have been problems, such as people thinking the signs saying open to drive-thru means they can get through the intersection and confusion about even getting to the store.
“It seems like there’s something different every day, but they try to keep a lane open and customers have been good about putting up with the mud and dirt and gravel.”
She said they took over the store in May and were doing a marvelous business. They’re determined to see this through and just hope there’s no delay from the projected reopening of the intersection in November.
“We’re probably the business out here most dependent on traffic,” she said.
“We’re still trying to get Peppy’s Pizza in here. We’re determined,” Alexander added.