July 30, 2008

Committee Recommends More Money for Parking Lot

By Anna Kurth, The Daily Telegram, Superior, Wis.

Jul. 30--The Douglas County Board's executive committee is recommending the board allocate additional funds to purchase property to make way for a new Government Center parking lot.

The committee decided Tuesday to recommend spending $125,000 for acquisition of homes on Hammond Avenue.

Both the county board and Superior City Council previously approved $100,000 apiece for purchasing homes for the project.

The city council also approved its additional $125,000 portion of the cost for the housing purchases this June as part of its capital improvement project, said Jeff Vito, Superior development director.

The entire project is expected to cost about $750,000 with the city and county each paying $225,000 for the houses and the county paying for construction materials and products and the city doing the work with its labor and equipment, Vito said.

The houses are located on Hammond Avenue directly north of the Government Center and the land would be used to create about 60 additional parking spaces at the center. All three homeowners have previously indicated their willingness to sell, Vito said.

The original plan when the Government Center was built included plans to tear down the former city/county building across the street and build a parking lot there. The building was developed instead and additional parking spaces were not created, said Keith Allen, councilor.

"I think the longer we take to purchase these homes the more it's gonna cost," he said.

If the county board approves the additional funds to purchase the homes for the project, in the future it will still need to approve $150,000 for construction materials for the project, Vito said.

The executive committee also recommended changes to update the board's rules and procedures and directed the safety committee to draft an ordinance to establish authority for declaring an emergency or disaster in Douglas County. The committee also directed the building and grounds committee to pursue a use for the third courtroom that could have the potential for revenue.

Anna Kurth covers education. Call her at (715) 395-5019 or e-mail [email protected]


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