CLEVELAND - Rosalyn Duncan loves shopping at Cleveland's West Side Market, but she believes the cold temperatures inside are now driving away business.
Duncan and other consumers have sent complaints to the NewsChannel5 Solutions Center about the frigid temperatures, and are hoping the City of Cleveland will add heat to the historic market.
Duncan told NewsChannel5 vendors at the market deserve better working conditions.
"They're paying a whole bunch of money to rent the space, and it's only fair that they stay warm," said Duncan. "They might get sick and they'll have to shut down, and then they lose money because they lose us as customers because we go somewhere else. It's really not fair to them."
Consumers report temperatures inside the West Side Market have dropped into the mid-20s in recent weeks.
Shop owners like Don Whitaker, who runs D.W. Whitaker meats told NewsChannel5 the cold temperatures are also hard on equipment.
"We have to put a heater on the freezer motor to keep it working, because it has to work at at least 60-degree ambient temperature," said Whitaker.
NewsChannel5 contacted Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's office about the lack of heat at the West Side Market.
Spokeswoman Maureen Harper told NewsChannel5 preliminary discussion are beginning about the possibility of adding heat to the market.
"We are trying to help shop owners at the West Side Market," said Harper. "We are now allowing shop owners to use space heaters behind the counters, despite the fire that took place at the market in January of 2013."
Meanwhile Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman explained how he'll be bringing up the heating issue at an upcoming budget meeting scheduled for Feb. 19.
Cimperman believes Cleveland has an obligation to provide heat in all buildings currently being operated by the city.
"We have a responsibility. When you go into city hall its got to be comfortable; if you go into a library, it's got to be comfortable," explained Cimperman.
"If you go into a fire station, or you go into a school, any kind of public building, we have a responsibility to make sure that people who are going there feel that they can be there without shivering, without being cold."
NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will continue to follow this developing story.
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