Paving paradise postpones profits
ALSTONVILLE looks set to become a paved paradise, but some business owners say they will suffer unless Ballina Council builds more parking.
Local business owner Tim Mulcahy of Il Postino said the roadworks taking place as part of the street beautification in Alstonville had led to a 10%-15% drop in his business.
He also said the loss of around 15 car spaces may make the street renovation counter-productive.
"Given the economic climate, it's even more of a struggle to cope with a building site out the front of my restaurant," he said.
"I'm sure that in the long term the beautification will benefit businesses but in the short term we are taking a big hit."
Joy Phillips, who owns Main Street Pharmacy, was also concerned with the loss of parking spaces.
"Alstonville has an older population and the loss of car parking spaces out the front of shops makes it more difficult for them," she said.
Ballina Shire Council civil services group manager John Truman said the work was in its final stages
"We have liaised with the Chamber of Commerce and Council's C Ward Committee and to my knowledge those issues have been addressed satisfactorily with them," he said.
Alstonville-Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce president Lisa Dillon said she could understand the frustration of local business owners.
"It does seem to have been going on for a long time," she said.
"I am confident that business will return to normal or improve once the beautification is completed.
"It was never going to be a comfortable process but we hope the pain will be worth the gain."
Ms Dillon is also concerned about the loss of car spaces
"I think council will need to provide more parking and line marking for the remaining spaces in the street."