Today is the final day for Beaufort residents and property owners to comment on plans to redevelop Boundary Street and the surrounding area.
The city and Beaufort County collected comments during an informational meeting two weeks ago, but some residents still have concerns.
Designs call for a narrower Boundary Street with medians, bike paths, a more pedestrian-friendly sidewalk and plants and trees. The project is being paid for with a $12.6 million federal grant and $13.7 million in local funds.
Sheila Fulton, owner of Spirit & Wine at 2013 Boundary St., told Beaufort City Council on Tuesday that she thought the plan was dead. Fulton said few businesses along the road knew of the proposed improvements.
"Isn't it amazing that the people who own businesses down there don't know anything?" she said.
Mayor Billy Keyserling said the plan was approved in 2006 -- along with a penny sales tax to pay for it -- and there have been numerous planning meetings since then. City officials seek state construction permits for the project, and work could begin in fall 2013.
He told Fulton to speak with Josh Martin of the city's Office of Civic Investment, but cautioned that it might be too late to address all of her concerns.
"I'm sure Josh would listen to you," Keyserling said. "But I can't promise (anything.)"
While some property owners intend to fight the city's acquisition of their land, to build a road parallel to Boundary Street, Fulton is concerned medians and narrower roads could harm her business and public safety. It would be more difficult for customers to access her store, for delivery trucks to reach businesses and for fire trucks and ambulances to get through traffic, she said.
"I'm just concerned that in a time when business is hard enough, you're trying to make it impossible," Fulton said.
Plans for the project are available on the city's website at www.cityofbeaufort.org.