Pride and Pain when it comes to sprucing up for DNC

CHARLOTTE,NC (WBTV)- Network exposure has bolstered the reputation of Wilkinson Boulevard's Barbecue King, and being on one the routes near Charlotte Douglas airport these days is bringing a renewed sense of excitement for Gus Karapanos.

" I have seen a lot of changes in the last few months, and the boulevard looks a lot better than it did", Karapanos said.

While pride is felt at this restaurant, pain in the pocketbook can be found across the Boulevard.

Karen Williams operates Eastway Wrecker, and she isn't happy with how improvements are being handled.

"So we spent three thousands and put slats in the fence."

That's where it started for Williams.

The slats were supposed to hide damaged cars from public view, but the three grand didn't go far enough.

More changes came after hiring a lawyer and wrestling with the folks at city hall.

She said," I agreed to put up the white plastic fence, which ended up costing the company a small company about 24 thousand dollars."

Near Wilkinson Boulevard along Morehead Street side walk improvements are paid for with local bond money .

The project will be finished in time for next month's convention, but on North Tryon another gateway, some of the city's homeless say they've gotten their marching orders.

Ron Hartsell is homeless and among the concerned.

Hartsell told WBTV,  "They're not gonna allow homeless people sleep on the benches especially is your not dressed nice, look good or asking for money."

Back along the boulevard, sprucing up continues right on the street, and also at eateries like Barbecue King that have been here for more than a half a century.

Meanwhile, Karen Williams is a little concerned about the timing.

"We've never had a problem before now. We've been here 15 years and never had a problem," she said.

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