DDA board approves parking lot wall repairs at Oct. 8 meeting

By Megan Kelley

Review Writer

The Downtown Development Authority board met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 8, with DDA Director Molly LaLone informing the board that they had finally been able to obtain a bid price for the Front and Anderson streets parking lot walls.

According to LaLone, the repairs on the two walls have been in the plans since fall of 2018 however; the DDA has either not received bids or have received quotes that are “not reasonable.”

The $7,500 bid will include wall repair on both the north side and west side with patchwork and re-painting as well.

Contracting company, SimIron informed the DDA that the wall repairs are something that will need to be done every four years, said LaLone.

Chairperson, Anthony Reighard questioned whether it would be better served to demolish the walls altogether.

The alternative quote for demolishing the walls and rebuilding them exceeded $53,000, LaLone said.

“I still think we would be better off not spending this money and waiting, just tearing it down and getting rid of it,” said Vice Reighard. “That wall is ugly, it looks bad.”

The west wall currently backs up to a business driveway that has a higher elevation than the parking lot. Without the wall in place, there would need to be some kind of alternative to keep cars on the driveway from falling onto parked cars in the lot. The north wall is used mostly as a division between the public and private lots that back up to each other, said LaLone.

“That wall is a disgrace to the downtown,” said Village Manager, Joe Young. “It is not attractive, it does not give a good reflection of our community and for the $7,500, just the aesthetics alone, is valuable and it is going to be a quality product.”

Young added that the owner of the Pet Center lot (which is currently private parking) is still looking to build on the site and has submitted a conceptual plan already.

“I think it would be in our best interest to take care of what we have and then give ourselves some time for research to come up with a better plan. Because $7,500, I’m telling you, I’d jump on it,” said Chairman Debbie Burgess.

The motion to repair the walls passed unanimously.

According to LaLone, the contractor is able to begin working on the repairs soon.

Also in the meeting:

• The board voted to move $20,000 into the Facade Program fund balance. This will allow the DDA to offer an alternative to their current historic preservation fund that they can award to business retroactively.

Additionally, it was decided that the design committee be reformed to process grant requests. Reighard will be taking over as Design Committee Chair.