By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Merchants fear more paver work may kill off business
Placeholder Image
RIPON – It’s been years since the complete overhaul of downtown Ripon first began thanks to a grant that city staffers secured to cover the total cost.

Now that the ornate streetlights, the pavers, and the aches that introduce people to downtown Ripon are in, the sights of civic planners are now set on the stretch of roadway that contains the most heavily traveled section of downtown – including businesses, restaurants, and bars.

But not everybody who stands to see the front of their businesses beautified are thrilled with the idea of having the road in front of their establishments torn up until the construction is finally completed.

Several businesses owners took their complaints to the Ripon City Council Tuesday to request that the city wait on their plans to move forward with what would be the final piece of the renovation – which will stretch down past businesses like Swier Tier, the Ripon Roadhouse, and La Casuela.

With traffic already a problem for the business owners, losing the main drag in front of their building while construction were to begin, many said, would severely impact the day-to-day operations of a venture that is already extremely hard to keep afloat during today’s tumultuous financial times.

“The planning that is being proposed is fine by itself, but we just don’t think that this is the right time,” said Alex Herrera of La Casuela. “I know that if this construction were to go on that it would put an end to my business.”

City Engineer Kevin Werner was instrumental in securing more than $3 million worth of grant money that make the downtown improvements – which included the in-street pavers, the wrought iron fences, and the decorative street lamps – that was essentially culminated with the two archways that welcome people to Downtown Ripon when turn in off of Stockton Avenue and onto Main Street from the western section of town.

Only one final section – the portion that runs in front of the heart of downtown’s restaurant core – remains to have pavers installed.

While the decorative street covering adds to the overall aesthetic to downtown, it also means that the street being targeted will likely have to be shut down for at least a portion of time while crews handle the work – something that has those with their livelihood attached to that traffic worried about the impacts.

“I want to thank you ,guys for all of the work that you’ve put in to make this entire project a success,” said Roger Swier of Swier Tire. “But we’d like for you to reconsider this stretch because we need this stretch of road to operate, and without that access we’re going be facing some serious problems.”

The council considered several other options including adding the streetlights and other decorative landscapes, and will revisit the issue at a further meeting to determine the best way to proceed.