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Business Owners Getting Serious About Killing Roundabouts

A family owned business in the heart of downtown is telling Sussex residents to "Tell Village No to Roundabouts," and with their property on the line, the owners are getting nervous.

The new message to Sussex residents: “Tell Village No to Roundabouts.”

It’s plastered on a huge sign in the heart of downtown Sussex. With among Village Board members to discuss the Main Street construction project scheduled for Tuesday, Toots and P.J. Cain are doing everything they can to get residents to show up and oppose roundabouts.

The Cains are the owners of , a second-generation, family owned auto body shop on the corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue. If the village chooses to construct a roundabout on that corner, Paul’s Service could be in line for some real changes.

“We’ll be affected big time because they’re talking about taking in the edge of the road between 8 and 15 feet to construct the roundabout, and it’s not coming from across the street because the cemetery is there,” P.J. said. “From the side of my building to the sidewalk is 29 feet, so if they take 15 feet, we're not going to be able to back cars out of the front of our shop. So basically they're going to put the front of our shop out of business.”

The idea of constructing roundabouts on Main Street has seen , but with their business’ livelihood on the line, the Cains aren’t taking any chances. They printed out the enormous sign and are talking with Sussex residents about their frustrations with the project. Toots has even started a petition at the business, and she claims to have more than 150 signatures.

“We handed them a series of questions... We asked for a list of responses and no one has responded."

However, with , Toots and P.J. are eager to get some of their questions answered regarding roundabouts. With the construction project still in a preliminary stage, Toots says she’s been having trouble getting specific answers from Sussex officials.

“We handed them a series of questions that customers and community members have asked us, and we submitted those question ,” Toots said. “We asked for a list of responses and no one has responded. We gave it to the administrator, we gave it to the village president, and we gave it to two of the trustees and we haven't heard anything.”

But Village Administrator Jeremy Smith says there isn’t anything to even say at this point. He, , says the Village Board hasn’t even begun to discuss the various options for Main Street yet.

Tuesday's meeting will be the first time the group will discuss the multitude of comments from residents and the various design options for the street. With the first discussion yet to happen, Smith says he can’t comment on how the board feels about any specific concepts.

“The official position at this point is that there are still several different concepts, and we're still getting feedback,” said Smith after . “The Village Board, at their May 15 meeting, is going to be hearing all the comments from residents, discussing the concepts and asking questions. From that point, the board will be making decisions and moving forward with developing the project based on those comments.”

“And because everyone hated them so bad, the village president and three of his trustees all got voted out that year, and I'll tell you, people are already talking."

Even with that said, Toots and P.J. say they’re nervous about the possible roundabouts still getting constructed regardless of popular opinion from residents. Toots thinks it’s a “big trust issue” after the village installed the curb bump-outs near the a few years ago.

“Everyone hated them,” said P.J., talking about the bump-outs. “And because everyone hated them so bad, the village president and three of his trustees all got voted out that year, and I'll tell you, people are already talking. If the roundabouts go through, they're going to do the same thing all over again. They'll take the whole works and throw them right in the garbage.”

Sussex is holding its first workshop for the Main Street construction project on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the .

Want to know more about the Main Street reconstruction project? Patch has you covered. Click here to check out all the stories we've done on this issue.

Kathy Tomassetti May 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM
The elected are showing their personal desire to drive their own agenda, not the desire of the people they serve. If they really cared about what the residents think, they will put it to a vote and the let the people decide. I just cannot for the life of me figure out how you justify destroying our mainstreet businesses to keep a road crew working...Nice way to destroy our wonderful village....
Steve Dan May 13, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Just have to ask…do you know what really concerns me about all this talk about RAB’s?? An overwhelming majority of people have already made the village board members aware of their absolute, resounding objection to the new plan for these Round-A-Bouts. Why on earth don’t they just come out and say, ‘Okay, you win’. We understand. No RAB will be built!!!’. If we actually live in a free society where we the people actually govern ourselves, why are they still pursuing this issue? I don’t get it. I own a business on SS and travel Main Street several times a day. I don’t see the problem with things the way they are. Why change something that people don’t want? Why waste money doing studies on something people don’t want? If the problem is left turns, simply do away with parking on Main Street. There are a few vacant lots on Main Street. The old Eggert’s Furniture building could be purchased for a song and a dance. I know the new owners paid 225K for that property. Turn that and a few lots into parking spaces and leave Main Street with a left turn lane and forget it. But again, my biggest worry is WHY ARE THE BOARD MEMBERS SO INTENT ON CONTINUING THIS WHEN WE, THE PEOPLE SAY NO! Surely the board has to know if they go against the will of the people they are going to be voted out of office and this will have all been done for nothing.
Justme May 13, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Right on, Steve Dan! Heard Goetz personally told someone he doesn't like the looks of the car shops downtown. Well, more and more residents don't like the looks of him as president of OUR village. Main Street is fine the way it is. All is required at "rush" hour is a little patience or creative navigating by taking a different street to your destination. Dietrich signed recall petitions twice. He transposed the letters in his last name with an incomplete address on the 2nd one.
Kathy Appazeller May 14, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Justme You don't know if Dietrich signed the recall petitions twice. Get a life.
Peggy Malone May 16, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I want to thank the Village Trustees for listening and acting on the round-about issue. It is great to know that the walkers and children will still be safe and get to enjoy the downtown area, library, parks and of course the bugline. Thank-you for listening to the citizens concerns, we are proud that our trustees recognized how the round-abouts would affect the small town atmosphere that the citizens of Sussex have come to appreciate. Not to mention the businesses and resident homes that would have been demolished or displaced with these round-abouts. Please take time to let your elected officials know you appreciate the work they do for you, as their decision at the May 15th meeting shows you how a democratic society really works. Their job entails many hours, for little pay--it is a job they take to make a difference--They proved that at the May 15th meeting when they acted on the round-abouts! Peggy Malone

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