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By MARTHA SMITH
Special to the Standard
NORTH KINGSTOWN â€“ Another North Kingstown business has closed its doors, victim to a host of problems related to the bad economy.
The contents of Quaker Lane Tool, located at 3520 Quaker Lane, are scheduled to be auctioned today at 10:30 a.m. by Max Pollack & Co.
â€śThe economy got me,â€ť said owner William C. Barske Jr., of Exeter. â€śIt was the domino effect. He explained that because the bottom dropped out of the housing market, very little new construction was undertaken and fewer carpenters â€“ who would need the types of tools he sold â€“ were employed.
Mother Nature and that old Rhode Island standby, roadwork, slapped him around, too.
â€śDuring the winter two years ago, there was a snowstorm every Wednesday. Last year with the roadwork [Rt. 2 was widened], some days I made maybe $125. I had four employees and they got laid off one by one. In the end, it was just me and a repair guy. Itâ€™s been brutal.â€ť
In some instances, customers were running up their accounts and failing to pay.
Barske said he â€śpoured thousandsâ€ť into the business but fell behind on his commitment to Citizens Bank which held the mortgage. â€śThey said if I gave them $25,000 by the following week, weâ€™d be okay. It was like dealing with the mob.â€ť
Unable to catch up with his payments, Barske sold the property to the Bradshaw family who own a nearby greenhouse, nursery and retail operation and put Quaker Lane Tool into receivership. Heâ€™s been doing business there since 1996.
â€śI blame myself,â€ť he said of his misfortune. â€śI should have seen it coming; nobody saw it [the recession] lasting this long.â€ť
On a positive note, Barske said heâ€™s had a number of employment offers and is considering his next move.
Meanwhile, in Wickford Village, Wilsonâ€™s of Wickford dodged another bullet on Monday when a Boston bankruptcy judge approved the sale of the Brown Street building. An ad appeared in the stateâ€™s largest Sunday newspaper announcing a foreclosure sale scheduled for Tuesday.
The property was purchased by the owner of the popular jewelry company Alex and Ani who intends to open a third tea-and-coffee shop. Wilsonâ€™s, a clothier for 68 years, plans to stay in business at the location in smaller space.
Richard Nadeau Jr., an attorney who represents Washington Trust Company, holder of the propertyâ€™s mortgage, said the bank will give Wilsonâ€™s time for money to change hands with the property buyer.
â€śThe bank granted a continuance to allow that sale to be consummated,â€ť he said.