The owner of Medici’s Gelateria says the Town could have been more diligent when it planned to repave Fairview Road.
“Fairview Road running from the 7-Eleven up past the high school will be closed for the majority of this week,” owner David Badger said in an email. “(This is) the peak week of summer vacation and the period with the greatest possible potential for a business such as ours to earn our keep and to keep going.”
Badger would have instead preferred the Town to have chosen to repave the road “any time other than the peak tourism season.”
Shawn Goodsell, Oliver’s director of operations, said no matter what time of year the Town repaves a street, “It’s always a bad time for someone.”
Goodsell said there’s a narrow window of opportunity, and if construction requiring asphalt isn’t completed during the warmer months, the project could be stalled for a whole winter.
“That happened when we were repaving the alley behind 7-Eleven last summer,” Goodsell said, adding that the alley had to stay gravely all winter, which led to several complaints because it often needed to be regraded.
Nonetheless, Badger thinks more foresight could have been applied by the Town, but he said it’s not realistic to expect a small community’s talent pool to offer such expertise. Also, he doesn’t believe the project is progressing as fast as possible.
“There were some days that no one showed up, and other days when people were only there for an hour. I think 15 days of full work would do the job.”
Badger said the contractors have been kind and explained what was being done every step of the way, but he doesn’t like the terms of their deal with the Town.
“From the beginning of June to the present time the construction crews have been on site to a maximum of 35-40 per cent of the available time,” Badger said in an email. “Several chunks of five-days have passed with no one around! The company is obviously working several jobs and spreading their resources.”
But the construction is right on schedule, as laid out by the Town on June 15, and is expected to finish up no later than Sept. 2. And Goodsell said the project requires a variety of different contractors, and it’s not possible to coordinate them in perfect sequence.
“I can feel his pain, it is in front of his business,” said Goodsell, adding that it’s fortunate how the Post Office being right across the road attracts traffic, and the café can be accessed by an alley in the rear.
Badger said despite the construction, Medici’s has seen an increase in business from this summer over last, but the interruption still reduced its potential.
“Yes I’ve done a lot better this year; we’re extremely gratified by our summer business, but the reality of the construction has definitely damped and hurt us.”
While the construction is going on, Badger says customers can park anywhere they can.
“Fill our front lawn with your vehicles,” he said. “We value you. We are only still here because of your support. The beat goes on! The music goes on!”
Every second week the café hosts Friday Night Live open mics, and Badger tries to book a ticketed-concert every month to six weeks. On Aug. 26 will be Twin Peaks, and more concerts are underway for every month through the rest of 2016.