A family-owned business that opened in 1980 on Binghamton's East Side has shut down.

Dick's Garage had been a fixture at 70 Robinson Street since 1980. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Dick's Garage on Robinson Street closed its doors late Friday afternoon. Owner Timothy Whitesell said business had declined dramatically in recent years.

A view inside Dick's Garage, a few hours before it closed forever. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Whitesell, who is the Town of Binghamton supervisor, said he had hoped to be running the garage and towing service established by his father, Richard Whitesell, to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. But, he said, he made the difficult decision to close.

Whitesell said he had been considering the move over the past several weeks but didn't make a final decision until Monday.

He said he had been struggling to cover the cost of repairs for his tow trucks and to pay tax bills.

Whitesell said although he once had hoped to become an attorney, he ultimately changed his mind and started working for his father's garage. He said "there's nothing like working for a family business."

Whitesell took over the operation from his father in 2005. He said the two employees who continued to work for the garage until its final day have lined up other jobs.

On Friday afternoon, a few people stopped by the garage to acquire some of the things Whitesell won't be using anymore.

Whitesell said he plans to spend the next couple of weeks cleaning out the stuff that's accumulated in the building over the past 37 years. After that, he said, he's not sure what he'll be doing but he intends to remain in the area.

One of the vehicles that had been used by Dick's Garage. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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