More parking spaces will be coming to downtown soon

The empty lot on the corner of North Main Street and College may soon become a parking lot.
The owners of the land, Polley Funeral Home and Ideal Industries, are in the process of donating the plot to the city for the purpose of a parking lot. Preliminary sketches show it would provide about 20 additional parking spaces for downtown.
Don Jackson with Ideal Industries told the council in October that they would only want the six spots that would be adjacent to the old education building next to the plot during working hours. Jackson told the council that Ideal Industries plans on renovating the building and putting it into fulltime use. The funeral home would like the extra spaces for services.
When the idea was first presented, city council members were on board, but instructed city staff to see if private funding was available for construction of a parking lot.
A parking lot would be poured from concrete with curbs, leaving some green spaces.
City Administrator Rick Childers said the Downtown Revitalization Committee suggested spending the remaining block grant funds on the parking lot. Childers said there is about $65,000 left in the grant.
The only problem is the city needs to close out the grant by Feb. 28 or risk losing eligibility to apply for another grant for a year.
Childers said the concrete contractor thinks he can get the work done in time, but it is still questionable with winter weather.
“The thought is it’s a single project that can move forward quickly, that can close out quickly,” Childers said. “It’s also a crapshoot project. The physical work has to be done by Jan. 15.”
Once the work is complete, the city will have to file paperwork with MoDOT to include the parking lot in the project that could take a couple of weeks.
Councilwoman Melissa Miller said Wednesday night that she would also like to pursue signage for the downtown area.

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