Columbus talks parking

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Town to get estimates on widening Ward Street

COLUMBUS — Although some council members are against the town adding parking spaces at Veteran’s Park, Columbus is seeking estimates to add parking on both the fire department side and Veteran’s Park side of Ward Street. 

Columbus Town Council met Thursday and decided they will not decide on whether or not to add parking spaces until estimates are received. 

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Councilman Robert Williamson said he is proposing the parking spaces and is simply looking for cost estimates for curb and guttering and landscaping if the town chooses to add parking. 

The proposal is to widen Ward Street between Gibson and Peak streets and put 11 spaces on the fire department side and 23 spaces on the Veteran’s Park side. 

Town Manager Tim Barth said funding for the parking could be done out of Powell Bill funds, which the town currently has $138,290 left for the year. 

“The 11 parking spaces on the fire department side would cost $6,000 to pave, however, there would be no expense for curb and gutter,” Barth said. “The 23 spaces on the Veteran’s Park side would cost $12,500 to pave, and we are still waiting for the cost to do curb and gutter on this portion.” 

Councilman Richard Hall, Councilwoman Margaret Metcalf and Councilman Mark Phillips expressed concern over the town adding parking spaces at Veteran’s Park. 

“The veteran’s side, I don’t care for it, some of the veterans don’t care for it,” Hall said. “Why don’t we settle that tonight?” 

Williamson said Polk County will be approaching the town about placing the Charters of Freedom there, so the town will have to decide and he just wants a cost estimate. He also asked about public restrooms at Veteran’s Park. 

“I think it’s wise to come up with a master plan for what the Veteran’s Park will look like in five to 10 years,” Williamson said. 

Phillips said his point is he is against it and he does not see where a cost estimate is going to change his mine. 

Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre suggested getting a cost estimate as getting one will cost nothing.

“We’re arguing over nothing here,” McIntyre said. “We can’t vote until we get an estimate.” 

Phillips agreed to get a cost estimate and to vote on the parking spaces in December and “put this to bed.”