Elk Point, SD construction creates problems for businesses - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Elk Point, SD construction creates problems for businesses

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ELK POINT, South Dakota (KTIV) -- No Main Street, but the businesses are open and some are suffering. Elk Point, South Dakota, is undergoing major reconstruction to their downtown.

And, because of that, local businesses on Main Street are stuck behind a sea of orange tape.

Hope you're not thirsty because the tap at Edgar's nostalgic soda fountain in Elk Point, South Dakota is dry.

"We kind of just go with the flow, deal with it," says Barb Wurtz, co-owner of Edgar's.

For the day... the city shut off water to Edgar's, and if you look outside you'll know why.

Since April, Elk Point has been tearing, chewing, and plowing apart Main Street. It's part of a three phase renovation of downtown, with streets and sewers being replaced. But leaving local business between a rock and a hard place.

"What we notice is like maybe the people across the street that might run over get a malt or something, they maybe aren't going to do that because they have to drive," says Wurtz.

But despite the construction stores like Edgar's are trying to make Lemonade out of Lemons or in this case a sundae out of chocolate and nuts.

Edgar's also houses Pioneer Drug Company, a pharmacy.  Customers need their medication so if they can't get in the front....

"We have fixed up our back entrance its easy to get here easy to find, its kind of an adventure to get here," says Wurtz.

Down the street at Jones' Food Center, things are a bit tougher. Customers are down about 11% for the store and some shifts have been cut for employees. Still, managers say there is a silver lining.

"Our average sale is quite a bit up which tells you they are making fewer trips to come see us but when they are here they are spending more money," says Jones' Food Center Manager Bob Starr.

Looking at downtown, it feels like an old western, desolate and empty. The City says doing the construction all at once was in everyone's best interest.

"There are so many service connections on each side of our downtown business district the engineer and the contractor thought it would be better to do it that way," says Elk Point City Administrator Dawn Glover.

Main Street construction is getting closer to completion. The work could be done by July fourth. That's welcome news for store fronts who want nothing more than to welcome you.

For all this remodeling, the city is footing a 1.9 million dollar bill.

Officials say it's very likely the largest city project in Elk Point's history.

Online Reporter: Forrest Saunders

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