Elmira construction causing business controversy
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- A local business is blaming the roundabout construction happening on North Main Street in Elmira for being the reason they're going out of business.
After 45 years in business, Savino's Liquor and Wine in Elmira announced yesterday that they will be closing. Francis Savino, the store owner, has told WENY news that the ongoing construction on North Main Street has made it impossible to continue business.
Today, WENY news spoke to the Mayor of Elmira, Dan Mandell, and he says the short term project being worked on is to help traffic flow and to keep pedestrians safe. He says the other local businesses surrounding the project are instead anticipating increased business for when the construction concludes at the end of October.
"I find it hard to believe that this construction has put him in a position where he has to go out of business. Case of point, Weis Markets has just done a two million dollar renovation on their store anticipating the increase and their business over there. Hilliards is actually doing an expansion over there and McDonald's is doing well over there," Mandell says.
Mayor Mandell says there were multiple meetings leading up to this project, which Savino was present for. He says the meetings informed the businesses surrounding the construction site about the inconvenience this would cause, assuring them this would just be short term.
Savino was still not in favor of the project.
"He was against it. He came to us when I was first elected and basically tried to get us to pull the project. We informed him at that time that there's no way we can. Once you accept the federal funding on that, and funds have already been spent, the city would have to pay back those funds to the federal government with a penalty. At that time, it was about one million dollars. We don't have the money to do that," Mandell added.
WENY news has reached out to the owner of Savino's liquor to give us more information on the closing, but says he has no comment at this time.