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Friday, September 26, 2008

Freshwater blues

Posted on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 3:56 PM

Though they’re still recovering from a drop in business related to Harbour Solutions construction, south end shops are facing yet another round of street closures, noise and dust.

This time around it’s a water commission project to enlarge a pipe containing long-buried Freshwater Brook. Since July, crews have been replacing the section running down Fenwick, though the Sobeys (1120 Queen) parking lot, across Victoria and down to the corner of Inglis and Barrington. During Harbour Solutions construction, that corner resembled a battlefield as a sewage pumping station was built.

“What can I say? Asks John Townsend, owner of Schooner Books (5378 Inglis). “Four summers out of five, they’ve closed us down two or three months at a time. Why do they have to do everything four times?”

“We’re all mom-and-pop businesses, like the sub shop, the pizza joint, the flower shop –we’re small businessmen and these guys are just eating us up, and they don’t give a shit.”

Townsend says that his store’s internet trade has kept him in business, but he and the neighbouring businesses are down some 50 to 60 percent due to the construction.

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