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Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Main Street businesses looking to future

By Christine Henderson

Construction crews have been moving down Main Street for months, digging up and. . .

CELINA - Some downtown merchants can see the silver lining through the construction dust on Main Street.
Business people at the Celina Merchants Association meeting recently said they are surviving construction woes on Main Street, partly due to good communication from Celina city officials.
Main Street through downtown is in the midst of a major, two-phase renovation. The first phase is underway with upgrading water lines.
The total project also includes rebuilding the street and installing new curbs and sidewalks from Lake Shore Drive to Fulton Street. The renovated street will have decorative lighting and new traffic signals. The total project will not be finished until 2011, according to Kent Bryan, Celina director of planning and community development.
The traffic into the Celina-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce office downtown remains "as good as it has been," said Pamela Buschur, chamber executive director. "We will surely get through it."
Kim Nation, co-owner of Java Nation Bake House and Cafe/Potter's House, said there has been little impact on her business from construction.
"The only problem is dirty windows. We are excited about the new road," said Nation, who also is president of the Celina Merchants Association.
Also excited about the finished project is Jacqui Archer-Amstutz, co-owner of 211 Club/Fuse Lounge.
"I know it's trite to say, but you have to break some eggs to have an omelet. I am so excited about what it is going to look like," she said.
Deb Borns, owner of West Bank Inn, is amazed by the extensiveness of the water line work. She guesses it is a prelude to what the reconstruction will be like.
"One thing I am most impressed with is that the sole proprietorships are flexible and diligent and not complainers," Borns said.
Good communication between the city officials and business people has helped merchants deal with the construction changes, Borns said. Celina administration has given a timeline for the construction project, allowed alley access and explained where parking is possible.
"The businesses were given a vision of what it would be like," she said.
After talking with officials from other chambers of commerce, Buschur has concluded Celina administration is doing a good job of communicating, in comparison.
Nation sums up her view: "We are lucky to have this problem - dust."
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