Commission to go ahead without costly research
City officials had the discussion about spending $85,000 for a study by Calvin, Giordano & Associates Inc. to see if the city needs a parking garage, how big it should be and where it should be in Old Town. Currently, the city is looking at three locations — 908 Caroline St., 609 Greene St. and 616 Simonton St.
City Engineer James Bouquet started the conversation by saying he would hate to overbuild or underbuild the site and a study would help. City Commissioner Teri Johnston thought the study would be good … at first.
“The existing garage on Caroline Street varies between 25 and 75 occupancy. For some reason it never got there and it is clear cut we need parking facilities,” said Johnston. “We need to be educated with as much data as possible before we make decisions. So I’d like to have the data and I want it cost effective.”
Commissioner Mark Rossi disagreed. He said he does not need an $85,000 study to tell him the city needs a parking garage in Old Town in closer proximity to Duval Street than the one on Caroline. He said to spend on this study was a waste of money. Instead, he asked city attorney Sean Smith for direction on how to move forward with a garage located on Greene Street and Smith advised the council it would need to put a bid package together.
A motion to deny the study was brought forward by Rossi and seconded by Billy Wardlow. All commissioners agreed the study was unnecessary except commissioner Clayton Lopez who was absent.