Supervisors discuss use of property

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


More discussion was held at the supervisors meeting Tuesday morning about what to do with the property the county bought at 302 West Main Street in Washington in 2017.

There was some confusion about why the property was on the agenda again.

?What are we discussing?? board chairman Abe Miller asked.

?We had not made an official decision whether it?s going to be a parking lot or a building,? supervisor Stan Stoops said.

Supervisor Bob Yoder said from day one he remembered they wanted to use it as parking. He also said they should discuss whether they want to use gravel or pave it and discuss having a privacy fence installed on the west side of the property.

?Well, if we?re going to make it a parking lot we need to pave it because gravel is not going to work very well,? supervisor Richard Young said, ??cause of trying to clean snow and everything else ? you?re just going to push that gravel off in the winter and you have a lot better chance of somebody tripping, so you have trip hazards out there on that gravel.?

Auditor Dan Widmer said it would be a lot easier to mark the lines for the parking spots on pavement instead of gravel. He also asked the supervisors to keep in mind the anticipated long-term use of the space.

?And I have not gotten any costs,? Widmer said. ?I can do that as far as what it would cost to pave it, whether [it?s with] concrete or asphalt and fencing ? that type of thing. I don?t know if that enters into the decision or not.?

Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. asked Washington County engineer Jacob Thorius what the estimate would be to have conrete or asphalt there for a parking lot.

?At least $50,000,? Thorius said, ?and I think you?re going to get 12 parking stalls tops there. We can put rock down to stabilize it for $10,000. I realize the concern of pushing rock, but it?s frozen. You guys have to make that decision. Cleaning up rock at the end of spring is far cheaper than $50,000 or whatever it might be to put concrete down.?

Thorius suggested to the supervisors to make that employee parking, especially if the supervisors decide to just have gravel put down.

?I guess my thought is we need to get an estimate for asphalt, too,? Miller said, ?especially if we?re not sure what we?re going to do with it.?

Asphalt would be about the same price, Thorius said.

Seward said there were always several different options they could do with that space. There may also be a possibility for the county to purchase the property to the north in the future, which would give them the option of building a new administration building at that site.

?So if we don?t know exactly what we?re going to do with it yet and taking into consideration the other projects we have that we would like to spend some money on ? maybe we spend $150 on grass and let it be a green space for a year or two until it all settles to what we really need to do with it and have some extra money to go along with it,? Seward said.

Yoder said his thoughts were they needed the parking and if they put gravel down there they could still put a building there in the future.

Miller agreed with Yoder.

?My thought is, too, rather than let leave it sit, to at least use gravel and use it for parking in the meantime,? Miller added.

The original reason for the county purchasing the property was for parking, he added.

Miller asked the other supervisors if they wanted to make a decision that morning or if they wanted to discuss it more.

A motion was made to get bids for fencing and gravel to make that piece of property of a parking lot.

Seward disagreed with this.

?I still think that when we take into consideration all the other money we got to spend on other projects, that we should wait to turn that into a parking lot and that?s the reason because we?ve got several other places that have been requested for budget money that I think we could use that money for,? Seward said.

Stoops asked if they were making a decision as to when it would become a parking lot. Young and Miller both said no.

Stoops asked Miller if they could amend their decision later. Miller said he was guessing they could.

The motion to get bids for fencing and gravel was approved. Seward was the only dissenting vote.