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Campaign efforts to save businesses after Lexington-Purcell bridge closure

LEXINGTON, Okla. – A desperate cry for help from business owners in the town of Lexington.

Locals say they have lost out on so much revenue because of the bridge closure.

The highly traveled bridge connecting Lexington to Purcell was closed for repairs after officials found cracks in the support beams.

A Lexington man is hoping to raise just enough money to buy ad space in several local newspapers to encourage readers to shop local and to spend money in his town.

Cole’s Plant Farm may be open for business, but customers are nowhere to be found.

Ray Cole, who lives in Lexington said, “My daughter is the one that owns this business and she depends on now until June for her whole year’s worth of income.”

It has been a rough two months for Ray Cole and his family who have to depend on the planting business for income.

Cole says their income has been slashed by nearly 90 percent since the bridge closed in January.

“We’ve been through a lot of storms and stuff in the past, but it was always something we could recover from.” said Cole, “this bridge being closed we don’t know how to deal.”

The longtime resident is not giving up faith just yet.

He is hoping a print ad in the newspaper will be enough to drum up some support for his community.

“All I can do is hope and trust in the goodness of people.” he said.

Cole took his campaign idea to Lexington City Manager Charlie McCown.

McCown said, “It just basically said we need your help, we’re in trouble. Lexington businesses are cut off because of the bridge … we’re asking everyone to please make an extra effort to buy local and support Lexington businesses.”

Cole is optimistic, but knows it is going to take a whole lot of work to get things done.

He said, “I just hate to see Lexington to lose the business that they got because we don’t have very many. “