John Keene Excavation lays off its workers

John Keene Excavation had to lay off its employees Friday. - Rich Saltzberg

Updated March 21

John Keene Excavation laid off its employees Friday morning, a move done as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic and in anticipation of an Island-wide construction moratorium, according to the company’s president, John Keene. The Friday layoffs were the first ever in the West Tisbury company’s 38-year history, Keene said. Keene described the layoffs as “a very difficult decision that ultimately comes down to trying to eliminate the risks of exposure to my employees, their families and my family, and the community at large.” 

Keene’s “pit,” where bulk material like mulch and sand is sold, will close Saturday afternoon sometime between noon and 1 pm. 

Keene said he expects to reopen his company as soon as it’s safe to do so. 

Updated with new information about Keene’s pit. –Ed.