Opening phases of Mid-Town parking garage on agenda

A new parking garage on West Third Street is expected to be built and ready for use by next summer once the Mid-Town garage is razed, perhaps as early as late summer or early fall, according to city officials.

That was the latest information from William E. Nichols Jr., director of city finance, to the finance committee this week.

Tonight, City Council will vote on a beginning phase of the project to replace the Mid-Town garage and build Trade and Transit II.

River Valley Transit estimates it will cost $110,000 for PPL to relocate an electrical vault box on Willow Street. The relocation and use of the transit funds was endorsed by the committee and will be voted on by the full council.

During discussion, Nichols said the schedule of construction shows demolition to take place following the Little League Baseball World Series, which is played in late August.

Council also will vote on whether to accept a contract with Delta Development Group, which is asking for $90,000 for one year with an option of a second year upon council’s approval.

Delta Development officials have helped to “shepherd” grant requests through the U.S. Congress, in order for the city to obtain transportation funding for building projects, according to Nichols.

The money to pay the company won’t be taken from the general fund budget, Nichols said, but rather is in the River Valley Transit planning budget.

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said the new parking deck is necessary. The parking garage was built in the early 1970s, he said. It has 200 spaces available and room for 300, although the top roof area is not in good shape, he said.

“We need those parking spaces because of more businesses expanding,” Campana said.