April 19, 2014

Elyria
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Grocer bridges river for customer service

PROSPECT — A grocery store owner is offering a new service to customers cut off from his store while a bridge is being replaced: Free delivery across the Scioto River.
Customers who live on the other side of the river can call Dexter’s Village Market for milk, fresh produce, meats, bread and beer, said owner Steve R. Dexter.
Workers for the Ohio Department of Transport-ation began removing a 94-year-old bridge three weeks ago. A new $2.3 million bridge won’t be open for traffic until Sept. 15, leaving residents of this small village about 30 miles north of Columbus with detours that take drivers about seven miles out of town to find another bridge that spans the river.
Dexter, 50, said his grocery store lost more than $30,000 when the old bridge was closed for renovation in 2003, and he can’t afford to go through that again.
So Dexter’s 23-year-old son, Steve E. Dexter, will complete orders by filling up a small, electric-motor fishing boat with bags of groceries for a trip across the river to the village’s east side, which is mostly residential.
About five customers have requested boat deliveries so far.
“It’s definitely very nice,” said Michele Lusch, thanking the younger Dexter after a delivery on Saturday. “It’s convenient.”
Dexter’s store is also getting help from members of Lions Clubs International, who have volunteered to drive groceries to customers who don’t live along the riverbank.