PRESTONSBURG – A landmark Prestonsburg business suffered significant damage last weekend when intense snowfall caused the store’s awning to collapse.
The awning of the Lad N’ Lassie shop in downtown Prestonsburg collapsed sometime late Friday evening after record snows dropped nearly two feet of snow in one day.
Shop owner Cheryl Leslie said she discovered the collapse Saturday morning after another employee of a downtown business sent her a text message stating that the awning had collapsed.
“I don’t know what time it happened. If it happened at night, or if it happened in the morning,” said Leslie. “It was just the weight of the snow and it broke the braces.”
Leslie has had her shop in the building for seventeen years, but she says she does not know how old the building or the awning are.
“I don’t know how old all of this is, I really don’t know how old the building is,” said Leslie, adding that the contractor she brought in tried to reattach the awning.
“We had it removed, they reattached it, and it fell again, so we just moved it. Everything was just so rusted out, and in such bad repair. Just too bad a shape; it wouldn’t hold,” said Leslie. “I cant even think about someone walking under that and it collapsing, so I told them to cut it all up and haul it off.”
Leslie hopes that the owner of the building can attach a new awning. “We have to have an awning. we just have to. Or the sun will ruin a lot of clothes from fading.”
According to Leslie, the awning of the next door shop is also in danger of collapse, stating that it is “hanging by a wing and a prayer.”
“It needs to come down too,” said Leslie.
She says that different awnings have been tried on the building before, but on street parking on Arnold Avenue near the intersection of Court Street forces delivery trucks to turn to tight, and inevitably rip off the awning.
Leslie says she was approached by a Tourism officials years ago about a main street program to renew store front facades, but never heard any more about it.
A Prestonsburg Main Street program to provide low interest loans for storefronts is available for downtown businesses to improve their store fronts says Prestonsburg Economic Development Director Miranda Hicks. The fund was established years ago to help beautify down town Prestonsburg by providing business owners with a manageable loan, three percent interest, to improve front facades and awnings.
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