ARDMORE, Okla. -- Main Street is considered by many to be the heart of Ardmore, but some business owners say they are being held back from making improvements to downtown buildings, and that could hurt the entire city.
Several Main Street business owners say the Ardmore Historical Preservation Board is limiting the changes businesses can make to downtown buildings, and it could end up hurting the entire city in the long run.
Main Street business owners say they have been working with the historical preservation board for several years, but that it's becoming too difficult a task because it takes the board too long to approve or even vote on improvements.
Many owners say it's such a hassle to make changes they had rather let their buildings fall apart or just leave all together.
Owners say it’s like fighting a never-ending battle, and the welfare of Main Street is at stake.
"If you try to run a business and it takes 60 days for a sign permit or even longer, it’s just horrible, and we are trying to make things better here," says Damian Hoffield, owner of Tribal Bikes and Boards.
Hoffield says simple issues like the color of his sign have been more of a concern for the historical board than parking and improvement issues. He says all he wants is to help revitalize the area and make downtown a better place.
"We could go to parking and stuff like that, but there are portions larger that needs to be addressed. One thing would be to make Main Street better would be a sense of community down here."
The Historical Board declined an on camera interview but said they do want to work toward the same goal as business owners. Splatters owner Tammie Stephens says working together is the only way to improve Main Street and the city of Ardmore.
"We are all going in the same direction. We want to be able to keep our business down here and keep up. We make a big community for people to come down and shop for hours and enjoy the food."
Historical Board members say they will try and come to some conclusions to help relieve pressure on the board and business owners..
Their next meeting is scheduled for August 14th.