Nampa businesses concerned about effects of construction

Posted at 10:40 PM, Feb 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 00:40:04-05

Revitalization efforts are set to begin next month in Nampa. But some small businesses that already weathered the construction of the new library are worried they will not be so lucky this time.

Ronald LeBaron owns the LeBaron's Honker Cafe. His restaurant has been around for 43 years.

"We have to help each other out," said LeBaron.

Come mid-March, the road in front of his shop will be closed for repairs. Crews will rebuild 2nd and 3rd Street South -- from 12th Avenue South to 16th Avenue South.

"Even though we have what people want. They want to eat here. They like our food," said Lebaron. "But when people fear to come to some place because they don't know what to expect, they aren't gonna come."      

It is not the first time he has seen changes. Lebaron's restaurant sits across from the Nampa Library that took root a couple of years ago, and he believes it has had a positive effect.

"People want to come and see the place of the library, and I think that brought people into our business," LeBaron explained.

But he thinks, for the next phase of Nampa's revitalization, he might not be so lucky. Other businesses in the area are also trying to figure out how to stay afloat. 

"As construction is taking place, will people be able to drive downtown? asked business owner Jim Payne. "Will they be able to find parking? Will they be able to access sidewalks and be able to access our businesses?"

On Wednesday, the city held a town hall meeting to get public input. Despite the concerns, most businesses were on board. 

" We fully support it. It needs to be done," said Payne. "But our concern is the potential impact it's going to have on customers being able to reach our businesses."

Another business owner, Rusty O'Leary, said he does not like the changes but knows they are the best thing for the community. 

"I think the city has done a marvelous effort to reach out to the businesses owners and property owners in the area and to include us in a lot of the process," said O' Leary.

Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling said some businesses might see as much as a 50 percent decrease in business during this time, but she said the city is behind them.

"The Nampa Chamber and civic clubs are going to adopt these businesses as their civic project," said Kling. "They have committed their support to adopt downtown Nampa as a civic project."

The City of Nampa will host a meeting the third week of February to lay out the details of the construction schedule.

The businesses also want to inform the public that they will be open during the construction.