In this time of a global pandemic, which is greatly affecting our economy, especially the small family-owned businesses, it is inconceivable that the Town would pick the beginning of tourist season to do major construction on Spring Street.
The businesses on the east side of Spring Street are suffering as a direct result of having construction in front of their establishments.
1. Although the work is done during the night, huge machinery is parked all day in front of our businesses. These machines occupy entire parking area in front of our shops, blocking our signage and windows, and have taken away parking in front of our businesses.
2. We were notified for the first time on April 20th that our sidewalk would be torn up that same day. It is still torn up, with no plywood to ease walking and help customers navigate between businesses.
3. Several businesses have suffered loss of products due to tearing up the sidewalk. The use of jackhammers has caused products to fall off of shelves.
4. The windows, outside paint job and shopping areas are coated with the dust and other particles as a result of this construction. We are looking at a major cleanup once this is over, an added expense in a year when basic operating expenses have drastically increased and revenue is down due to the pandemic. Will the Town reimburse us? Will they have our windows cleaned after completion?
We feel that solutions to these problems are simple. First of all, respectful and better communication with business owners is essential.
Secondly, why not park heavy machinery either in front of Kings’ Market exterior walls at least occasionally, as they have plenty of parking with the side streets and their back lot, Or around the corner on First Street, where no business fronts exist.
At a minimum, we feel it is essential to put down plywood on the sidewalks in front of our businesses immediately to help minimize the dust and dirt from being tracked into shops.
Debbi Staehlin on behlaf of Be Chic, Friday Harbor Trading Post, Spring Street Deli, Griffin Bay Books and Hailey’s Sports Bar