Parking Partners complaints addressed

Consistent maintenance and care of the city’s Parking Partners lot includes citizen feedback, according to Safety-Service Director Jonathan Hupp.

Hupp said Tuesday that recent community concerns over overflowing trash bins, broken sandbags dumped at the Second Street lot and the age of fixtures in the lot are addressed through the city’s departments on a consistent basis.

Former Councilman Roger Kalter noted the concerns last week when he passed through the lot, worrying about what may be underneath the sandpile and pedestrian safety during the upcoming Ohio River Sternwheel Festival.

“It’s just asking for somebody to get hurt if we don’t take care of and tidy up our stuff,” he said, noting the last time he was at the lot a collection of steel cables beneath the sand pile were a potential trip hazard. “And if you look at it, sure they got the parking lot sealed, but not the area where all that stuff was.”

Hupp said the lot is maintained consistently, but concerns may always be addressed to the mayor’s office.

“Parking Partners was resurfaced three or four years ago, which was the first time in about 20 years,” he noted, explaining the city’s engineering department has since then maintained a schedule of crack-sealing on the lot and the city’s streets department periodically repaints parking spaces and bumper blocks, too. “But if there’s a sign that seems to have lost a screw, or a block that needs painted once someone makes us aware of the problem we can dispatch someone to fix it.”

On Tuesday, one such sign was upside down, and there was a pile of sand in the back righthand corner of the lot.

“Sandbags from the city’s high water event in February are constantly reappearing,” Hupp added. “At least three times since the high water our public facilities (crew) has been back there to reclaim bags and remove dirt.”

Foreman Tanner Huffman explained Tuesday that his crews not only circle through the lot checking for more sandbags, but also visit the lot weekly to weed-whack and check on other maintenance needs.

“It seems like that back corner became the unofficially designated place to return the bags since that’s where people filled up before,” he said. “But we’re there every Friday, our mowing days, to fight back that tall grass too and keep up with the lot.”

Hupp said other concerns that have been addressed in recent years have included the rebuilding of walls and replacing other barriers when car accidents have damaged them, but said the lot is well taken care of now, with the 147 rental spaces consistently occupied by paying users.

“It’s $25 per month per spot,” explained Mayor’s Clerk Mary Grubert. “Or $300 for a year, that’s the same rate at all four of the city lots, and we do have a waiting list at both the Parking Partners and the Putnam Bridge lot, but spaces are available at both the Armory and the Second and Butler streets lot kitty-corner to The Galley.”

Funds from parking rentals go to maintain those parking lots, and the Parking Partners lot turns a revenue of approximately $44,000 per year.