CIRCLEVILLE — Circleville Mayor Don McIlroy is asking downtown business owners and stakeholders to join him to talk about several issues, including downtown parking.
McIlroy said he sent letters to all the downtown business owners to inform them of a meeting for Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. in the back room of Watt Street Tavern. The meeting is to discuss angle parking, whether the business and property owners think it’s a good idea or not and to see what other options are available.
“I invite all downtown merchants to be there,” he said. “I want to be transparent and in that transparency I want all downtown merchants to think this angle parking is the best way to go.”
McIlroy said he’s had several people come forward with other solutions and some merchants who are not in favor of the angle parking, hence the reason for the meeting.
“There is one merchant that said there’s enough parking in the downtown area that goes unused,” McIlroy remarked. “I think that conversation has to happen at this meeting.”
McIlroy said he’s having meetings to also discuss putting up signage for the various parking lots around the downtown area so people know about parking lots. The mayor said some property owners with land downtown approached him about the potential for turning their property into a parking lot.
“They would like to turn their property into a parking lot, could be as many as 40 additional spots,” he added. “I would need to find some funding for it, is how we’d get that funding.”
McIlroy said he wants buy in from people in the downtown area and that he wants to reach a consensus.
“I want buy in that it’s a good idea to put in angle parking,” McIlroy reiterated. “It will double the amount of space we have right now in the downtown area. That part sounds very good but on the other hand Court Street is where this proposal is, we’d have to take Court Street down to three lanes, one each way and a turning lane.”
McIlroy said he doesn’t want this to just be his decision, even though city council has indicated to him that he’s the one to make the decision.
“I want this to be a decision made by the downtown merchants and by city council that this is the best thing for our community,” he continued. “I don’t want this to be a decision to be made totally by this administration. I want everyone to have input and we will hopefully get these downtown merchants together.”
With this meeting, McIlroy said it’s part of its due diligence to ensure this is what people want and what works best.
“We have to do our due diligence in saying this is the right thing to do,” McIlroy continued. “Parking is there to assist our downtown merchants and if this is something they want to do I don’t know how I can suggest that we don’t do this. If we are going to do this I need that buy in from them.”
McIlroy said should the merchants decide that angle parking is the best solution, he hopes other ideas and solutions come from the meeting as well.
“There might be some discussion that comes out of this about parking that we don’t even know about,” he said. “There’s one gentleman who has indicated to me there’s 1,000 spots and he has proof that after 5 p.m., all these things open up.”