By Andrea Cordle
The city of Grove City will move forward with plans for more downtown parking and a pedestrian promenade.
At the Nov. 2 meeting, with a majority vote, Grove City Council approved three ordinances to purchase property for additional parking. The three plans total $750,000. One ordinance allowed the city to purchase part of the properties, located at 3448, 3454 and 3460 Park St., for $450,000. Councilman Steve Bennett was the sole vote against the measure. With a 4-1 vote, council also approved the purchase of part of the property at 3464 Park St. for $100,000. Bennett also voted against the measure. The final ordinance was the purchase of the whole property at 3468 Park St. for $200,000. Both Bennett and councilwoman Laura Lanese voted against this measure.
Bennett quoted Joni Mitchell and said, “We paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
The councilman said he did not support the plan because for that price, he said the city could start plans to put up a 350-car parking garage.
Council president Ted Berry said this is the first phase of obtaining more parking spaces in the Town Center and city leaders are still looking into more parking options.
For all the Park Street properties purchased, the city would add approximately 34 parking spaces to the 79 already present in that area.
Council also debated putting in a pedestrian promenade to connect residential development to the new library and businesses behind City Hall.
Berry believes the pedestrian corridor would create business opportunities in the Town Center.
Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage said he sees this walkway as a small park that adds charm.
“It will add the class that we deserve,” said Stage.
Councilman Jeff Davis said it would add an aesthetic appeal.
“There is real potential there,” said Davis. “This is money well spent.”
At a cost of about $235,000 for the walkway, Lanese does not believe it is money well spent.
“That is a substantial amount of money for a small amount of real estate,” she said.
Lanese voted against the plan to put in a promenade. She said the walkway also takes away critical parking spots.
The city will lose about 10 parking spaces for the corridor.
Bennett also voted against the pedestrian promenade, saying he would rather see the walkway in front of the businesses in the Town Center, not in the back.
Resident Roger Burket agreed.
“We don’t need a pedestrian walkway. We have that on Broadway,” he said. “Parking is more valuable to taxpayers than a walkway.”
The plan to move forward with the pedestrian promenade passed with a 3-2 vote.