Board reworks parking plan for courthouse

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A new parking lot for the Lincoln County-Brookhaven GovernmentComplex will have less parking space, but more landscaping and easeof use following a realignment in the plan proposed during Monday’ssupervisors meeting.

Jeff Green, an architect with Engineering Associates, informedthe board that new information that became available to thearchitects prompted them to review plans for the parking lot onChickasaw Street.

“We did not have the city (green space) ordinance at the time(we designed the original plan),” Green said. “We didn’t know itexisted.”

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Under the ordinance, he said, the city requires a green areaevery 15 spaces to make the parking lots more attractive. “Greenspace” could be a planter of flowers, shrubs, a tree or any otherfeature that enhances the physical appearance of the lot.

In accounting for the green space ordinance, Green said, theparking lot was redesigned with the main changes being theinclusion of green space areas, which decreased the number ofparking spaces from 76 to 61, angling the spaces and changing theway vehicles would maneuver in the lot.

Instead of two entrances into the parking lot, it will have adesignated entrance and exit. Motorists will maneuver in a U-shapethrough the lot.

“We were headed in that direction anyway,” said Chancery ClerkTillmon Bishop about landscaping needs. “Nothing has ever slippedthrough the cracks on the parking lot. It was always a work inprogress. That was talked about during a pre-construction meetingon May 11 and the following Monday I received a draft of thechanges.”

The changes will not have a significant effect on the cost ofconstruction, he said.

“There will not be as much blacktop work, but there will be anincrease in curbing,” Bishop said. “The pricing should not changevery much.”

Decorative fencing to encircle the lot is also being priced, hesaid.

“Fencing is not part of the contract and doing any fencing atall is subject to the pricing,” Bishop said.

Maintenance on the green spaces is not expected to cost thecounty anything in continuing costs, he said. Jail inmates willprovide the service.

Work is projected to begin on the parking lot in about twoweeks, with a late July completion date. The parking lot will notopen until mid-August, however, to allow time for the asphalt toset and for painting to designate the spaces.