By Dedra Cordle
With their vehicles and equipment stored in several buildings throughout Urbancrest, the village’s street department has been waiting for a centralized location to house their fleet and gear for quite some time. Now, it appears the wait will soon be over.
At the April 1 meeting, the council was presented with the results from a design and logistics study they commissioned through the Neighborhood Design Center. According to their representatives, the location that would be the most feasible to house a garage would be on Central Avenue, near to the substation that the street department currently shares with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. said he agreed that it would be the best location to build the garage because it is the most cost effective option for the village.
“We already have utilities there,” he said.
Council member Deborah Larkins-Jackson expressed some reservations with the location.
“We’re going to be putting a small garage in a residential area?” she asked.
Tim Schacht, an intern at the Neighborhood Design Center, said that with the use of canopies to shelter the doors and a brick facade exterior, the garage would not clash with the surrounding homes.
Fellow intern Torrance Abrams added that the trees in front of the building would be kept and maintained in order to make it have more of a “residential feel.”
Larkins-Jackson wondered whether it would be better to construct the garage near the William H. Johnson Village Municipal Hall but tentative plans have been made to use that space to expand the parking lot at the Vaughn E. Hairston YMCA and to build a shelter house at the Martin Luther King Park.
Barnes reiterated that the location the Neighborhood Design Center chose on Central Avenue is the best option available.
Now that the design has been accepted by council, Barnes said the next step in the garage construction phase is the bidding process.
“We’ve already heard from people wanting to submit bids,” he said.
After a bid is chosen, the work will begin shortly thereafter.
“We want to get this done with as soon as possible,” said Barnes.
The cost estimates and the length of the construction process have yet to be determined.