Congested parking in the downtown square area may see some relief in the near future.
Polley Funeral Home and Ideal Industries both own part of the northwest corner of North Main Street and College where the Salvation Army had been located until the building was demolished in June, and want to donate the land to the city for the use of public parking.
City Administrator Rick Childers said there is some concern however, about laying concrete on the ground because of settling from the demo of the building.
“One of the concerns I think everybody has is parking in the downtown area,” Childers said. “There may be a problem with settling over time, although there have been some pretty significant rains that may have taken care of the vast majority of it.”
Childers said plans to pave the parking lot would not be implemented for at least a year or two. Until then, he said downtown overlay milling grinds can be used for a dust-free parking lot, which would buy more time for settling.
Childers said the concrete contractor performing the downtown revitalization work said it would cost between $70,000 and $80,000 to pave the parking lot with curbing. Drawings for the plan call for 19 parking spaces and green space that Childers said would help with runoff.
Don Jackson, with Ideal Industries, said they would be willing to pay for some of the paving costs and Community Development Director Lisa Hastings said she spoke with Polley owners and they indicated they would like to help in the future as well.
Childers said he has also been approached by another business owner willing to contribute.
Councilwoman Melissa Miller said she loved the idea, but with tough times the city needs to be careful about taking on more responsibilities. She said the city would be responsible for maintaining the parking lot and cutting the grass.
“I think it’s a great idea, but there are some risks involved,” she said.
The measure passed unanimously.