Jeannette business owners discuss Lowry Avenue closures
By Margie Stanislaw
Published: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 2:15 p.m.
Despite the closures on Lowry Avenue, a group of Jeannette business owners met at Enrico's Bakery last week to discuss the effect the road construction to upgrade the sewage system is having on area businesses.
The work is part of the ongoing $9.6 million Jeannette Municipal Authority sewer expansion project and has repeatedly closed the thoroughfare during the past two months. The Lowry Avenue work is separating a combined storm water and sewage pipe into two lines, aimed at eliminating backups during large storms. The work was ordered by the Department of Environmental Protection and was targeted for completion by the end of the year.
Rob Enrico of Enrico's Bakery and his sister, Amy, who is the owner of Tazza D'Oro, a Highland Park Coffee Shop, set up the meeting and contacted the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Business owners attending the meeting included Gina Villi of Salem 22 Linens and Supreme Linens, Patricia Reno of Decade Hair Designs, Ricky Stough of Ricky's Classic Pizza, Ernie DiMartino of DiMartino Ice, Bill Hoffman from the Hoffman Agency, Mauro DeFelice from Mauro's Ristorante and Lounge, and representatives from several other business including Wink Salon and the BP Gas Station. Some of the Enrico's neighbors who live on the Lowry Avenue were also in attendance.
The majority of the meeting focused on solutions to the issues on Lowry Avenue and discussion with Carl Knoblock, district director for the Small Business Administration's Pittsburgh office, about how to recoup losses. Even though Lowry Avenue is the only road closed, many businesses such as Mauro's Restaurant and Wink Salon, which are located on side streets off of Lowry, are feeling the crunch of having a major thoroughfare into the city closed.
Owners pointed out that signs on Route 30 advising that Lowry Avenue is closed are a real problem for them.
Rob Enrico said, “This is what's killing us.”
“I've lost a lot of customers from North Huntingdon and Irwin,” said DeFelice.
Business losses were estimated by owners as anywhere from 20 percent to 70 percent. Knoblock asked business owners to submit a spreadsheet to him documenting their losses. Knoblock and business owners also discussed alternatives to shutting down Lowry Avenue completely such as making it one way during construction so that at least one lane is open to make businesses accessible.
Discussion also centered on issues such as the amount of dust being raised by the construction — one business owner reported hiring a professional cleaning company to get rid of the dirt.
“If you have pictures, choose the pictures that strategically highlight what is happening. Stay very targeted on what is done to the businesses,” said Knoblock.
There were also complaints of frequent waterline breaks. Knoblock advised the group to be prepared to “outline the problem, the impact and then say, ‘Here is the solution.'”
Amy Enrico volunteered to help business owners with their spreadsheets to be sent to Knoblock. Ernie DiMartino also volunteered his services and said the Jeannette Business Association could serve as a clearinghouse for emails and announcements.
Future meetings are being scheduled to be held at Enrico's Bakery. Business owners that are experiencing issues can contact Amy Enrico at firstname.lastname@example.org or inbox the Jeannette Business Association on Facebook to get further information and to stay updated on meeting dates and other issues.
Margie Stanislaw is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jeannette’s revitalization strategy gets an update
- Jeannette EIT increases .35 percent
- McKee names students of the month
- Trio of students honored by Jeannette Lions Club
- Jeannette recreation director nearing retirement
- Zion Hill pastor hopes to bring community together
- Community Conversation gathers concerned Jeannette residents, collects ideas
- Red Kettle Kick Off hosted by Rizzo’s rings in the holiday season