Eli Ruiz | Democrat
As part of its introduction to the Parksville community, Wayne’s Organic World hosted a Pumpkin Painting Party in late October. Pictured, clockwise from bottom: Kelly Bertholf (back to camera), Brianna Margolis, Joe Margolis, Sam Lewart, Justine Sutherland and Parksville Priorities Commission Chair Amy Amaral. The name of the young girl at right is unavailable.
Two businesses go against the current in Parksville
Story by Eli Ruiz
PARKSVILLE Back in May of 2009 the New York Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) began work on a project that included upgrades to New York State Route 17 to comply with interstate standards part of a $96 million plan to turn Route 17 into a federal highway (Interstate 86) in the general area that included Parksville.
Just four miles north of Liberty, Parksville had for many years been bisected by Route 17, creating a four-way intersection in the middle of the tiny hamlet. And at the center of that intersection sat a traffic light the only one remaining on Route 17/I-86’s 380 miles. With the completion of the I-86 bypass in October 2011, Route 17 no longer cut through Parksville. Establishments like the West 17 Diner and Charlie’s Pizzeria had already closed down or moved, and Fiddle’s Dari-King a local fixture in Parksville for decades considered shuttering its doors as well.
Why then would anyone even consider opening up a new business in this place? A place that has seen far better times and many fear will never return to its pre-I-86 form.
Joseph Peters Jr. of Peters’ Glass and Wayne and Spring Schroeder of Wayne’s Organic World all asked themselves that very question, and, for different reasons, decided Parksville would make a great home for their respective businesses.
For Peters who recently moved his full service glass operation from its original location on Chestnut Street in Liberty to their current locale at 72 Main Street in Parksville it was purely a matter of convenience.
“First off, we own the building in Parksville so it just made financial sense to move here… now we don’t have to pay rent.
“The parking situation also played a part in our decision and it’s [the parking] a lot better here with a lot more room for customers here to park,” he added.
Although Peters says he’s not noticed any pickup in new business, he also hasn’t seen a drop off in his overall business. This, claims Peters, is due in large part to the fact that they were able to keep the same phone number they used in Liberty.
“At least we didn’t have to change our phone number so when people call we just tell them where we moved to,” said Peters. “I don’t know if when people drive by the old location in Liberty they think that we’ve closed down… all they have to do is call the number to know we’re still open,” he added.
Just up the street at 63 Main, Wayne and Spring Schroeder recently hosted a Pumpkin Painting Party. Both children and adults milled around between the large wigwam they have erected just outside their new business, now open almost three months. If nothing else, Wayne seems to be quite pleased with his current location, and said, “How could I go wrong? It’s great, you’ve got the exit [Exit 98 off Route 17/I-86] right there and if you’re going into town you’re gonna see our place.”
Spring Schroeder simply touted the quality of their produce, saying, “All of our vegetables, everything is organic and we grow everything ourselves on two acres of our 52-acre family farm in Youngsville.
Another group that remains enthusiastic about the future of Parksville is the Parksville Priorities Committee (PPC), the chairperson of which, Justine Sutherland, was in attendance for the Pumpkin Painting Party and held court inside the large wig-wam as youngsters painted away.
“We just wanted to get the community together for the event and give the kids something nice to do,” said Sutherland.
The group was formed in the wake of all of the changes to the area and is a non-profit under the Liberty Community Development Corporation (CDC) and has been a proponent for economic development in and around the hamlet of Parksville. On its web-page the PPC lays-out a comprehensive set of proposals for development in the area. The proposals span everything from a “Planned Community Map” and infrastructure proposals, to zoning tables and even a tax plan.
“Our focus is on promoting economic development in this area, and we all couldn’t be happier to have Wayne and Spring join the Parksville business community,” said Sutherland. The group meets on the first Monday of each month at the Rolling River Café and Inn.
In an interview with the Democrat, Rolling River Café and Inn owner/operator and PPC member, Rob Rayevsky, is cautiously hopeful, and said, “Well, on the one hand we used to have quite a bit of traffic from [Route] 17 because of the signs.… We’re actually trying to get them to install one of those blue rest-stop signs up just before our exit, but its been such a headache, like a Catch-22 because they’re saying that in order to get the sign, businesses have to be open at least 5 days a week. Since the I-86 bypass, I don’t know anyone who can afford to stay open 5 days a week.”
On the bright side, Rayevsky added, “I do have a very good feeling about the work aside from the bypass that was done… lots of landscaping and beautification in the area will go a long way, along with a proposed parking lot next to the church which will help a lot. I for one, am starting to feel quite positive about all of these changes.”
For more information on the Parksville Priorities Committee and any new businesses opening in the area, go to www.parksvilleny.org.