Local business blames road project for loss of business

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) The Downtown Cultural Connector Project has started, but one business said the work has caused them to lose business.

That business, Savino’s Wine and Liquor, said regular customers have not entered and just drove by because they do not know where to park.

“No-parking” signs dot the curb and the only parking available is a small lot just across the street. That lot has roughly six spots.

Construction crews have painted a double-yellow line turning the one-way street into a two-way street.

The owners said they think they are being treated unfairly.

“I wish they’d think about small business. They’re trying to build up this community so much, it seems like they’re going the wrong direction, they’re scaring away business,” Francis Savino, the co-owner, said. “We’re being told this is going to go on, construction-wise, until November, December. I’m just fed up with the city, fed up with the City of Elmira.”

Savino’s said they talked to the construction crews about the traffic impact. Work is scheduled to be done by the fall.

In a statement, Elmira City Manager Michael Collins said he spoke to the director of the City’s Public Works and said, “he has not been made aware of any complaints from businesses regarding the cultural connector nor has the contractor who keeps business up to date on this project. I, as well, have not heard any complaints from businesses.”

Collins said any issues can be shared with the city mayor’s or manager’s office.

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