Paving a parking lot

Published 8:00 am Thursday, December 27, 2018

Columbus to add 11 spaces on Ward Street

COLUMBUS — After discussing a proposal to add 23 parking spaces at Veterans Park and 11 spaces by the fire department along Ward Street, the town of Columbus decided to only add the 11 spaces.

Columbus Town Council met last week and approved spending $6,000 to add 11 parking spaces near the fire department.

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Council heard from resident Lin Reed during public comments, who brought a petition with 142 signatures against any parking spaces that would take up Veterans Park property.

“Paving the green space around the Veterans Memorial Park is stupid,” Reed said.

Reed said parking spaces there are unnecessary as no one uses the parking that is available in the area as it is. Reed said instead of using the money to pave parking spaces, the town’s money would be better spent for covered seating at Veterans Park. He volunteered to help fundraise for that purpose.

Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre said it sounds like the 23 spots on the Veterans Park side, council members are not considering, but the 11 on the other side of Ward Street are a possibility.

The cost of the 23 spaces on the Veterans Park side would have cost $12,500 for the paving, $9,250 for curb and gutter and another estimate to replace the storm drain at $20,375.

“We’ve talked about this and beat this thing to death,” McIntyre said.

Councilman Robert Williamson said he will not support a motion to pave the Veterans Park side. He said he has been asking for a cost estimate because people have discussed the need for public restrooms and covered seating at Veterans Park.

“Since March, all I’ve wanted was the numbers,” Williamson said.

He said he thinks there is a huge need for parking by the fire department because when they have an emergency, firefighters are not going to park far away and run up the hill.

Councilman Mark Phillips asked if there is a way the town can ensure that the Veterans Park side will never be paved. Town Attorney Lora Baker said she does not think a sitting council can tie the hands of a future council but she will look into it.

Council approved adding the 11 spaces to the fire department side of Ward Street, with councilman Richard Hall voting against the motion.