Main Street businesses need help
We continue to see little progress, I know you are going to tell me that the project is on schedule, but in the mean time we are dying! Our business is down now, over 30 percent, other retailers on Main have told me they are as much as 50 percent down.
In this time of economic hardship, you have slapped us with more economic hardship.
I appreciated your article in the paper, that worked for that weekend.
The increase we saw was Friday and Saturday. I would be grateful and I am sure other retailers would appreciate if you would continue those kinds of efforts, but that has been all we have seen. What have you planned?
Additionally, I have to say, every day I watch and see how many workers there are on the project, to see the progress, I have never seen more than four men working, with two women supervisors. They are often done by 4 pm, and on Fridays’ earlier.
Although this project may be on schedule, the city did not do its best effort to negotiate with the winning bidder to work as much and as fast as possible.
Work longer days, weekends! You are talking about people's livelihoods!
I have had to lay off employees, this is not what we need in our current economy!
I have asked from you, and never heard anything back from your office, regarding tax breaks during this project, that too would be helpful.
Please advise on your plan to help us that are struggling.
Owner of Epulo Bistro
Mayor Earling responds:
In response to your recent email and letter to the Editor, yes, I am going to tell you the Main Street project is on schedule, because it is.
I understand the contractors are starting work on curbs and gutters today. With the advent of the contractor working Fridays, the workweek has expanded.
Contrary to your assertion, I have seen many days with more than four workers on-site. Today would be a fine example of more than four!
They simply cannot lay asphalt before the "guts" of the infrastructure are underground.
I'm wondering if you had a chance to attend any of the several meetings the city had with the business owners on Main Street previous to the start of the project.
It sounds as though you didn't have your arms around the timing, schedule or potential impacts.
I believe most of the owners understood there would be slower business during construction and were prepared to deal with the situation knowing, in return, a new exciting streetscape would benefit their business.
As to what we have "planned", we have had several efforts and the media has been very helpful too.
The Beacon has given coverage, as well as the local blogs, MEN etc., as well as your coverage on KING TV.
We have provided the reader board on Main (which I note you have taken advantage of), and the op-ed I did a couple of weeks ago.
We will be putting out the Fall e-newsletter in the next few days that will "front page" the project and ask the community to support the local businesses.
That email will reach over 10,000 email addresses.
I believe the staff is working on another idea that will be of assistance to the businesses.
Tim, we have provided support, perhaps not always to your liking, but we have been there, offering assistance in ways that we can.
Mayor, City of Edmonds
P.S. I do not have legal authority to adjust individual's taxes.