Wednesday, October 07, 2009

No Notice: City Screws Up

Apparently the City of Plattsburgh failed Communications 101 in college.

Many people were caught off guard on Monday morning when a construction crew started to rip up the southern end of Oak Street.

Chris Dominianni, owner of the Adirondack Soup Company, didn't know about the street work until Sunday night after he saw a sign posted. He contacted the city and found out that notices went out a week ago to building owners who were in turn supposed to contact their tenants.

I did a quick survey of five shops in the area where the work is being done. No shop owner had been given advance notification.

June Defrane, owner of June's, didn't know about the construction work until Tuesday morning because her shop is closed on Monday. She tried to park in front of her business to unload some materials but was told by construction workers she had to park elsewhere. She was forced to park temporarily across the street in the Plattsburgh Public Library parking.

The PPL staff was also surprised by the lack of notification. When Brinkerhoff Street was being upgraded earlier in the year, the library had a week's warning. It put up signs to let patrons know about the upcoming work. Police officers had to enter the library on Monday morning to tell patrons who had parked on Oak Street to move their vehicles. Officers also went to the shops across the street, trying to locate car owners.

So what should the city learn from this stupid dust-up?

Communication is key. Contacting the building owner apparently doesn't work, especially if the owner is out of town. Efforts should be made to personally contact people who work in the area. If a shop owner isn't in, a sign could be posted on the front door.

Signs posted along the street shouldn't go up a day before. They should be up a few days before the roadwork is to begin, giving people enough notice.

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