Thirty new parking spaces could be coming to downtown
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — The city’s board of public works voted Monday night to approve the acquisition of property at 302 S. Maple Ave., which would allow for an expansion of the Omaha municipal parking lot, adding an estimated 20 to 22 spaces. The house on the property — which sits between the current Omaha lot to the south and the Kitchen Table restaurant to the north — will be demolished to open up space for parking, said Director of Public Works Dan Knoeck. The city paid the seller $60,000 to acquire the property.
The city also owns a garage located in the Omaha lot, and it too will be demolished to add eight more parking spaces, Knoeck said. The Omaha lot will also be improved. Including those improvements and the acquisition and redevelopment of 302 S. Maple Ave., the project will cost a total of $350,000. The end result will be about 30 new parking spaces.
The lot lies within tax incremental district number four, and funds for the project will not come from the city’s general budget. Tax incremental financing (TIF) allows the city to make improvements to infrastructure based on increased property tax revenue realized through improvements to the district.
“Other development in the TIF over the years has generated positive increment that allows you to pay for this public infrastructure,” Knoeck said. Tax incremental financing funds can only be used within the boundaries of the existing TIF district, which in this case spans most of the core downtown area.
The renovation and expansion of the Omaha lot will take place this upcoming construction season, though Knoeck said there is not a precise timeline worked out yet.
Part of the reason for the parking expansion is that a block and a half north of the Omaha lot, Second Street will be redone, and four parking spaces will be lost in the two blocks from Maple Avenue to Chestnut Avenue. In addition, the Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library construction is well underway and should be completed by late 2016. Knoeck said there would be added parking demand once the library is completed.
Adding 30 parking spaces downtown could also lessen the demand for spaces in other neighboring lots, specifically the Pacific lot just north of Kitchen Table.
“It’s kind of a ripple effect here. Generating some available parking downtown, it opens up other areas,” Knoeck said. He later added, “We have this opportunity to acquire a parcel next to a parking lot we’re going to reconstruct, so it just all seemed to make sense.”
The common council must give final approval on Feb. 23 before the acquisition of the property at 302 S. Maple Ave. is finalized.