Perkins merchants say road closing a costly surprise

PERKINS TWP. Progress comes with a price. Merchants along East Perkins Avenue have told Erie County commissioners the
Tom Jackson
May 24, 2010

PERKINS TWP.

Progress comes with a price.

Merchants along East Perkins Avenue have told Erie County commissioners the planned partial closing of Perkins next week will hurt their businesses.

"It's going to ruin my business," said Dave Mulvin, who owns a popular fruit and vegetable stand on East Perkins.

Mulvin told commissioners late last week he suddenly learned Perkins will be closed Monday for 30 days in connection with construction of a new shopping center at U.S. 250 and Perkins. The planned shopping center will include a Menards hardware store.

"It's a big blow to find out five days before," Mulvin said.

The county's sanitary engineer, Jack Meyers, said contractors are putting in pipelines to serve the construction and said the work likely will go on for two weeks, not 30 days. Perkins will be closed to all but local traffic from Strub Road to Pioneer Trail.

Mulvin's farm market is not in the area that will be closed, but Mulvin said he's concerned his customers will find it a hassle to get to him.

Meyers said he is trying to be helpful and is asking contractors to cooperate.

"I had them add another sign, 'All local businesses are open,'" Meyers said.

Meyers also asked Mulvin to save his receipts. If Mulvin can prove he lost business because of the construction, Meyers will ask the commissioners to provide compensation.

Randy Neidler, the owner of Eats-N-Treats, 2315 E. Perkins Ave., said Meyers has made the same offer to him.

Neidler said he expects traffic flow to be cut sharply as a result of the construction.

"It's definitely going to have an adverse impact," he said. "It's just going to be a huge hindrance to us."

The commissioners told Mulvin they heard him.

Commissioner Tom Ferrell remarked that he's one of Mulvin's customers, too.

"We'll make it so you're not inconvenienced," Ferrell said.

Commissioner Bill Monaghan said he knows Mulvin sells a perishable product and has to make his money during a relatively brief part of the year.

"When the tomatoes are ripe, you sell them when they're ripe," he said.