Word around the campfire

When about 30 downtown merchants and residents along the King Street corridor gathered at Butterfield Garage yesterday afternoon, they were not there to sing “Kum Bah Yah” — they wanted to hear what City Manager John Regan had to say about the bombshell news that King Street was about to be under construction for over a year.

Hosts for the meeting were Jan and Kirsten Miller; the gallery owners. The Millers acknowledged that the road and bridge construction in the area over the past two years has not helped their art gallery.

Once a month, Butterfield Garage, and other King Street area businesses, from food vendors to artisans, are blessed with “First Friday Art Walk”.

If the Florida Department of Transportation is not convinced otherwise, the prospects for the continued commercial success of the art walk are poor — at best.

Some remarks from concerned participants during the meeting were noted:

Mark Constant – The Market on Granada
Eliminate more construction and delays at this time

Kerrianne Constant – Olde Carriage Real Estate
Complete job after 2015 — correctly and fully

Bill Green – The St Augustine Gallery
Do the beautification before 2015 and reassess doing work on night shift

James Stanford – 720 Glassworks
Need time to plan before construction — opening new business

Andrea Cammarata – 720 Glassworks
Need time to notify customers before the construction start

Sherry Stopplbein – Hot Shot Bakery
Concerned about bottlenecks of traffic

Roger Yarborough – St Augustine Marine Center
Construction will affect the businesses and working waterfront

David Tennyson – Subway
I’ve just completely renovated my store and am ready to open. I have a loan, paying the city impact fees and need time to make some money.

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