Store Manager Says Raymondville Sidewalk Upgrade Hurting Business
UPDATE (4/25): The sidewalk project in Raymondville is still being worked on.
It was supposed to be completed by April 20th but it is delayed again.
The stretch of sidewalk on West Hidalgo Avenue between 5th and 6th Street is currently being upgraded.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS checked in with the city on Wednesday. The mayor says it is still being tweaked.
Count on us to keep you updated with this project.
RAYMONDVILLE – A Raymondville store manager says a city sidewalk project is destroying her business. She wants the project to end now.
Susie Cavazos has managed a downtown general store for four years. She says there is not much of an economy in the town and it makes it tough to bring in a lot of business when there's construction in front of your business.
According to Cavazos, her store sells a little bit of everything. She says it's the type of place Raymondville simply has to have.
"You know Wal-Mart closed, these people have nowhere else to go," she says.
Cavazos says business dropped for her shop due to a city project that started two and a half months ago.
The project was meant to upgrade the sidewalk downtown on West Hidalgo Avenue outside her store. She says it leads to construction crews working and seemingly blocking off her storefront from potential business.
"It's been pretty slow. Ever since they started this construction of the sidewalk, it's been really bad," she explains.
Cavazos notes that prior to this project beginning, the store was bringing in about $200 to $300 a day in sales.
She says after the sidewalk project began, it had a day about two weeks ago where it had $3 in sales. She believes it's because potential customers don't know if they can park in front of the store.
"Sometimes they have the cones out there, they have the cement bricks out there or whatever they're working with they have out there where we can't park," says Cavazos.
Cavazos adds the sidewalks have become dangerous for those using them.
"People have fallen out there. I almost fell going down the steps," she notes.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS wanted to know when the project will be done. Raymondville City Manager Eleazar Garcia says the project began on Jan. 17 and was scheduled to be completed on March 22.
Garcia tells us rain delays and a number of "change orders" on the project have held up the work.
"Every change order, the contractor has to order other brick – has to do other things. We also had enough money to do conduit for lighting that wasn't part of the proposed project,” he says. “That's a change order. That's additional days. We wanted to create additional parking spots for ADA, right? And, that's an additional change order.”
Garcia says the new completion date for the sidewalk is Friday, April 20.
He adds the sidewalk upgrade is part of a plan to enhance Raymondville's downtown to aid economic development.
Cavazos says she just wants it done so she can go back to business as usual.
You can count on CHANNEL 5 NEWS to see if the project is completed on the 20th.