When Paonia's sudden lack of water pressure forced a boil-water notice, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) ordered the Delta County Department of Health, Environmental Health Division to notify restaurants and other food handling businesses that they must shut down until further notice. That meant that, from February 18 until the morning of February 22, over a dozen establishments had to close their doors to the public.
Everyone complied, including 74-year-old Linda Little owner of Linda's Bistro on Third Street. Little has been operating her modest business on and off for twenty-three years and this is the first time in her memory that local businesses have been so drastically impacted. "I worry about all the young workers who lost wages," she said.
Businesses contacted by telephone on the weekend following the rescinding of the boil-order notice were busy with start-up procedures and thankful to be reopening. Laura Chittenden, owner of Indigo Autumn Health Food Store, was thrilled to receive the all-clear and she's anxious for things to get back to normal.
Mike Gillespie, owner of the Living Farm Café and Inn is "relieved that we got open earlier than we thought" although he's concerned that his employees missed nearly five full days of work. His concerns were echoed by the folks at Backcountry Coffee who were "glad to be back open" but who reiterated that no business can afford to be closed for long.