VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach dentist says he’s dealing with a painful situation for his practice. It’s all for the sake of progress for drivers.
Dr. Allan Bergano’s office is on North Witchduck road, essentially in the path of the big widening project. He says the past year of bad buyout offers and changes is worse than, well, going to the dentist.
Dr. Allan Bergano established his practice in Virginia Beach 32 years ago. Right now he’s paying two leases, but not by choice.
“Thirty-two years down the drain,” said Bergano. “The city stole my dream. This is my American dream right here and it went down the drain. Small business owners are being ripped off by the city. I followed directions to a tee and then all of sudden the rug was pulled from me.”
Dr Bergano says it all began last year when the city approached him with a plan to widen Witchduck Road which would require him to relocate with their help. The city bought the building and began moving offices with the Department of Human Services. He says they gave him a year to find a new place, sign a lease and bring back his bids. But when he did he was appalled.
“At first I said, OK I completely understand, limited parking, closing of the street and all the city services,” said Bergano. “Then they told me I only qualified for $25,000 whereas my colleagues were getting anywhere between $250,000-$500,000.”
And when he appealed their decision, things only got worse. Another change of heart. He says they rescinded their offer altogether. No money to move. In fact, he no longer had to relocate, although he says they knew he might not feel so comfortable anymore.
“This is not conducive to a dental practice,” said Bergano. “My patients don’t feel safe. My staff doesn’t feel safe.”
So now he’s feeling the squeeze — Left to move on his own dime. Dr. Bergano says he refuses to be treated unfairly or remain silent anymore. He’s hosting a rally to bring attention to this issue next week. He says future business owners need to be made aware. It’s Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. outside of his office at 256 N Witchduck Rd.
Virginia Beach City Attorney Mark Stiles sent WAVY.com this statement Friday:
We have been working with Dr. Bergano for quite some time, and we will continue to work with him to find an agreed resolution that is fair to everyone
Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen sent this statement to WAVY later in the day.
10 On Your Side will be following up on this case next week.