SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - An 8.4 million dollar beautification project continues in Downtown Venice.
The city started it last July, and has said it will be completed within the next month. But just as Downtown Venice business owners got their section of the roads cleared, some of them are now facing another inconvenience.
The lane right in front of their stores was blocked off once again and it wasn’t until a few hours ago that the sidewalk was actually reopened.
The City of Venice has to bring in crews to repave a section of West Venice Avenue after it was destroyed over the weekend.
Last Friday, asphalt was laid on these roads and traffic barrels had been placed to prohibit parking here while it dried. Someone moved them without permission on Saturday, ruining all the work that had been done.
While this is out of the city’s control, it’s having a negative impact once again on these businesses.
“Each month it’s as if they said it would get better, but parts of the town would get better, but then other streets would be closed off," Sandy McGowan, the owner of Sandy’s Designer Clothing said. "Customers have been complaining that they can’t find a place to park and they don’t know how to get here.”
“We try to come Downtown because we want to support the merchants, but it keeps changing when streets are open and when they’re closed, and some of the merchants have even gone out of business,” Suzie Zavodnyik of Venice said. “It’s been a really rough time for everybody.”
The city says all of West Venice Avenue will be re-opened by this Friday. However, Nokomis Avenue will remain closed until July for the Drainage Improvement Project.