The Fairport lift bridge is far more than an ordinary bridge.
It plays a vital role in the success of local businesses, welcoming people in and out of the village.
With it set to close next September, the village is stepping up now to help commerce keep flowing after the bridge goes under repair.
“We want the community and the business world to know that the Village of Fairport is open for business,” said Village Trustee Ken Rohr.
Fairport is known for its small businesses lining up and down Main Street. Local entrepreneurs are concerned about what will happen once the lift bridge closes.
“Everybody is aware of it and a little bit concerned and you don’t know what it’s going to be until that is truly closed down,” said Douglas Sharp, owner of RV&E Bike and Skate.
“I know it’ll be difficult for some but I think that there’s enough that are going to work together to make it easy and palpable,” Wendy Rugaber, owner of Revelations Design Studio.
The bridge is vital to the Fairport economy. That’s why a fund is being created that would help businesses get by during repairs slated to begin next year.
“I think it’s awesome! I think it’s excellent for businesses that might need a little bit of a cushion,” said Rugaber.
“Woah, that’s cool! We were a little bit shocked by that dollar amount and what they really look to put forth and we’re really excited to learn more about it,” said Sharp.
The $150,000 impact fund was created with money saved from the Fairport Office of Community and Economic Development treasury.
They’re still determining how it’ll be spent.
One popular option currently being discussed involved creating more events that would attract people into the village while the bridge is out of service.
Rohr says a final decision will be made with the help of local business owners.