McDonald’s future uncertain

B y Dan King

The sign along Route 4 telling drivers that a McDonald’s is coming up on the left has been replaced with one advising travelers to go to Fair Haven, Vt. if they want McDonald’s.

McDonald’s closed its Route 4 location in Whitehall on Aug. 22. At that time, McDonald’s officials said the close was temporary and that the building would undergo renovations. Currently there is a sign at the location saying it is “closed for renovations,” but the building is completely boarded up and closed in by a chain link fence.

McDonalds 3

This sign once informed drivers that the McDonald’s in Whitehall was coming up.

Residents of Whitehall have voiced concerns that they don’t see any renovations being made at the Route 4 McDonald’s, which currently has an additional sign telling restaurant-goers to “go to Fair Haven, Vt.”

In August, when the store closed, Charlene Durham, a spokesperson for McDonald’s said, “This restaurant is being closed temporarily. McDonald’s closes and opens restaurants regularly, based on business needs.”

An email, sent to Durham’s direct email account, asking for an update on the renovations and any future plans for the locations, last week, was not returned.

A second inquiry, submitted to McDonald’s corporate headquarters, was also not returned.

When asked, in August, if she knew how long the store would remain closed, Durham said she was not certain.

Neither Mayor Ken Bartholomew nor Supervisor George Armstrong said they had heard any updates from McDonald’s regarding the renovations.

The village of Whitehall annexed the property in 1995, running water and sewer lines out to the edge of the property. Then on May 9 of that year, the Mt. Carmel Society transferred the seven acre parcel – which used to be the site of the annual fireworks – to the McDonald’s Corp.

Reports at the time indicated it sold for about $200,000. At that time Fra Putorti, president of the Carmel Society, said it didn’t intend to sell the land but thought having a McDonald’s would benefit the community.

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