Becky Law, owner of the now-closed Denny’s restaurant, talks Monday about the construction near the diner that she fears will hurt her chances to sell the building.
Becky Law, owner of the now-closed Denny’s restaurant, talks Monday about the construction near the diner that she fears will hurt her chances to sell the building.

October 26, 2016

A local business owner told the Carroll City Council this week she fears a city project will hurt her chances of selling her business.

A storm-sewer project is underway on West Third Street, alongside the now-closed Denny’s restaurant. The construction could eventually be tied to a proposed project to build a 10-foot trail along the street.

Becky Law, owner of Denny’s, is concerned the projects will limit or completely erase parking on the north side of the building, which she said was valuable to her business and would be vital as she looks to sell the building.

Law, who told City Council Monday evening she closed Denny’s because of her health problems, is looking to sell the building and plans to have an auction next month. She added that she’d had a potential buyer who backed out after the street construction began.

The north parking was particularly vital to Law’s elderly visitors to the restaurant, as it adjoined a handicap-accessible ramp, she said.

“If I lose that parking in the front, that’s crucial to that business,” Law said. “The day of the sale, I have to be upfront and honest about this and tell everybody what’s going on here.”

She also noted the construction has affected the parking lot on the building’s west side.

“It’s an absolute mess,” she said. “I’ve got ruts — no one came to me for permission if they could use that parking lot. … Who gets the bill for that?”

The storm sewer is a separate project, but it could tie into the construction needed to eventually construct a 10-foot connecting trail along West Third Street, a project council has discussed at length and currently supports.

The project is in its infancy, with engineering and design currently being considered, City Clerk Laura Schaefer said. The project ultimately would connect the area trail system to Carroll’s downtown.

Mayor Eric Jensen and Public Works Director Randy Krauel noted that any damage to the west parking lot will be repaired but that the imminent trail project could mean lost street parking on the building’s north side.

“On the north side with the proposal for a trail, that really impacts the paved parking that was there before,” Krauel said. “Certainly there was some taken up to put the storm sewer in during this project, and that can be put back, but once the trail goes in, it can’t be used (for parking).”

City officials speaking with Law Monday evening agreed to try to work out a solution with her.

“The trails are great, but it’s going to hurt the business bad losing that parking,” Law said. “When we have this auction, I have to stand there and tell them they’re going to lose that front parking.

“I’ve just been sick to my stomach over this.”