GOSHEN — A little more than a year ago, the owner of the Dew Drop Inn … well … dropped in. He stepped outside of his front door in the 200 block of South Main Street, broke through the sidewalk and plummeted roughly 8 feet into his basement. Fortunately he was not seriously injured.
The incident, however, exposed a serious problem facing Goshen’s popular and vibrant downtown district. Upon further review, vaults, or voids beneath public walkways, were quite common under Main Street’s sidewalks. While we believe the Dew Drop fall was a freak occurrence, we did feel that it could happen again. We also gave the Goshen City Council a little grief for allowing the vaults to become such a problem over the years.
Even so, we are pleased with the city’s response to the matter over the past 12 months. Inspections were ordered. A program was put in place to help business owners pay for filling in their outdated vaults. Radar was used to identify more potential concerns. New concrete was poured, most recently last week in front of the Gutierrez Bakery and Sorg Jewelers.
The sidewalk vaults downtown have no doubt been a giant headache for all involved. But downtown Goshen is a safer place because our city officials took last year’s unfortunate fall seriously and dealt with the matter at hand appropriately.