NORWAY – Building supply store owner Kevin Swan said there were a lot of reasons he’s closing the business after 39 years.

There are 11 entities vying for the same business in a 35-mile radius.

Manufactured housing is very strong, reducing the needs for residential construction.

The traffic situation at the business is not good.

“There’s a lot of reasons, but I guess the best way to word it is that it’s time,” Swan said. “It’s no secret that the economy isn’t strong nationally, locally or statewide.”

“Realistically speaking, the traffic situation out here is not the greatest and I haven’t been able to get any assistance in traffic control,” he said. “While I can bow out gracefully and move on I will.”

He said the problems have never been the price, selection or service, but rather the inability of his customers to get in and out of the parking lot.

Norway policeman Scott Laliberte, who has been on the force since 1994, said crashes occur about a half dozen times a year in front of Swan Supply Inc.

He said the design of the intersection prevents people stopping on lower Main Street from seeing southbound traffic on Route 26.

The most common crash is people pulling forward to see traffic and then stopping while the person behind them accelerates into them.

“Sometimes it’s awful hard to see traffic coming from the north in the daytime,” Laliberte said. “Plus, the more the traffic picks up in the summer, the harder it is to get in and out. That makes elderly drivers uncomfortable.”

Swan said he and his father had been trying to get traffic relief in that area for 20 years.

“In the early ’90s the Planning Board defeated our plan to build up land and put in an access road behind the little yellow school house,” Swan said. “The Appeals Board upheld their decision.”

He said that was a tough decision for the business because the police and fire departments were in favor of an access road at that time.

Swan’s father, Roland, who died three years ago, started the business.

“It isn’t easy, but I know it’s right,” Swan said. “I had conversations with my dad three years ago and even then he was wondering when was the right time. I do this with the feeling that I have Roland’s blessing.”

Swan said he hired Wingate Sales out of Wichita, Kan., to handle the liquidation. He said the sale would start Thursday and he expected it to take six to eight weeks to sell off the inventory. While he wouldn’t put a numerical value on his inventory, he said there is 10,000 square feet of retail space, 30,000 square feet of covered warehouse space and then the yard area.

“We have over 15,000 different items in inventory,” Swan said. “There’s also going to be unadvertised specials and door prizes. There’s going to be a lot of reasons to stop in on a frequent basis.”



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