suffers from improvements
HAYMARKET – Town government leaders and business officials knew the
construction to revamp Washington Street in Haymarket’s downtown would be
But they didn’t know it would be as troublesome as it’s been.
The Haymarket Town Council scheduled a meeting for Monday night with
Virginia Department of Transportation officials to allow business owners
and the public to ask questions about the project.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at what will be the new town hall
facility on Washington Street, across the street from the current Haymarket
Town officials are also asking a representative from Gull Corp. in Loudoun
County to attend. That company is the VDOT contractor working on the street.
The problem is lack of communication, said Town Councilwoman Pamela
Stutz is owner of Red Rooster Antiques on Washington Street. Her business
and others along the stretch have suffered during construction, which began
At one point when Washington Street was at single-lane traffic. Motorists
began avoiding the stretch through Haymarket’s downtown, Stutz said.
“VDOT needs to hear and I think Gull needs to hear that throughout
this whole time there was some disturbance to the businesses and the community
itself,” Stutz said.
The owners of the Haymarket Grocery store on Washington Street have
suffered as well. In addition to lack of business, dust from construction
rendered some of the store’s produce worthless.
The store’s gross sales are down 50 percent, Alexandra J. Lee, daughter
of store owner John Jinn, told the Town Council at a recent meeting.
Jinn pays rent to the town, which owns his building. He has been late
on some payments because less money has come in, Lee said. She is asking
the town for a repayment plan on $7,400 of overdue rent.
The construction project is part of Haymarket’s push to create a district
of downtown shops, with a colonial feel. The project includes brick sidewalks
and colonial-style street lamps.
The first phase of the project, from Fayette to Madison streets – cost
$820,000 for contractor work. The town will also pay for the benches and
Construction on the second phase, from Madison Street to the Haymarket
Baptist Church, has not yet started.
Haymarket Mayor John R. “Jack” Kapp said business leaders
need to be reassured that the second phase will have less impact on them.