Businesses Encouraged to Remove Awnings
Most business owners, although not all, agree that it's time for the canopies to come down, but many say they shouldn't have to carry the burden of the cost.
These concrete canopies have lined broadway for more than 30 years. They were originally built to attract shoppers and help compete with the once-thriving Parkade Plaza.
But Luanne Andes thinks the canopies lining Broadway are past their prime.
"As far as I'm concerned it's outlived its purpose," Andes said. "It serves a purpose, for sure. But it was built, I dont know, in the seventies and it looks like it. It's time for a change."
Mike Monahan owns Jimmy John's Subs on Broadway and he thinks taking down the canopies would hurt his business.
"It does tend to affect our sales because the canopy protects our customers when they're coming in and out of the shop," said Monohan.
Boone National Savings Bank spent almost $10,000 dollars when it removed its section of the canopy.
"Businesses have spent more than that to maintain the canopies," explained Special Business District Director Carrie Gartner. "The last time the canopies were updated was two years ago and businesses spent about twelve hundred dollars each for a new coat of paint and roof repairs."
But Gartner also stated she understands the financial burden can influence businesses desires to change. That's why she has prepared assistance options for business owners wishing to bring the canopies down.
Another option has allowed local banks to come together and offer a low-interest loan program for businesses interested in taking down canopies. And Gartner thinks that is a great effort on the part of the banks. The banks involved include: Boone County National Bank, Boone National Savings, Commerce Bank, First National Bank, Premier Bank and US Bank.
No matter the cost, the issue of the canopies is likely to stick around for awhile because the decision ultimately falls on the individual building owners.
Now, the highest bid offered to Gartner so far is $6,000 dollars for every 20 foot section. But Gartner also said some of the legal loopholes in getting removal approved have been eliminated which will bring down the cost.