Hwy. 12 – it’s only til November

April 21, 2008

by Ryan Gueningsman

Four minutes.

Four minutes for local firefighters to get from the Delano Fire Department to a report of a hit gas line south of Highway 12 on Seventh Street.

Four minutes is not a long time.

Granted, in a medical emergency or traffic accident – every second counts. I think everyone knows and understands that.

But the response time exhibited by the fire department Wednesday afternoon proves that Delano is indeed “Open for Business” in more ways than one.

Here at the newspaper, we have been a part of the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce’s Highway 12 task force, helping establish the “open for business” slogan that, hopefully, most of you have seen and realize.

You can still get to Crow River Bank, you can still get to El Cazador, and you can still get to Delano Dodge.

I picked up some batteries at Loopy’s last week, had lunch one day at Chun Mee, and enjoyed the musical stylings of Pat Bacon at Doc Holiday’s last weekend.

Last week in the Delano Herald Journal, a letter to the editor expressed frustration over the Highway 12 road construction, and encouraged people to transfer prescriptions, and get groceries and gas in neighboring communities.

I’d ask people to do just the opposite.

Delano businesses need us now more than ever. If we don’t go to Loopy’s now to get batteries and other items we need in our daily lives, there won’t be a Loopy’s in the future to go to when we need those items.

Loopy’s owner, Scott Shoutz said his business was down about 50 percent throughout the first week of the detour being in place and construction starting. He expected a decrease in business due to traffic patterns. His motto throughout this: “It’s only til November.”

“Whatever we can do to help each other out is the key,” Shoutz said last week at a task force meeting.

Helping each other out is the key.

Across the street from Loopy’s at Star West, owner John Tackaberry has printed 65,000 “Delano Open for Business” maps, paying for them out of his own pocket, that he is sharing with any businesses that need them to help customers around.

Some people have expressed frustration about increased traffic through residential areas with people trying to get through.

There are going to be headaches, and there is going to be an increase of traffic on streets that normally do not have high volumes of traffic, but we need to help each other out in order to get through this.

For some time, Delano’s Mayor Joe McDonald has been asking people to exhibit “patience and understanding” throughout the project, reminding people about the end result.

Help each other out, and stay positive. Don’t be afraid to check out a new band at Three Crows on River Street, or stop in for the lunch special at Dave’s Town club, because you might have to park an extra block away or it’ll take you a bit longer to get there.

It is obvious the closing of the bridge over the Crow River has made Delano, in a sense, a divided city. As Tackaberry has said, no matter what, it’s one Delano – we’re all in this together.

All of the businesses in Delano have been, and remain, open for your business.

Patronize them now so they can remain for years to come.