Geneseo’s east downtown parking lot will receive an overhaul this summer.
At the April 10 meeting, Geneseo aldermen approved spending up to $125,000 for resurfacing of the lot.
“The parking lot is in pretty rough shape. It’s time to put this in place as a budget item and get the lot taken care of,” Geneseo mayor Linda Van Der Leest told the council.
Approximately 50 years ago, a group of downtown businessmen formed the Geneseo Offstreet Parking Association.
“At that time, behind the east and west sides of downtown were businesses. Many of the buildings had become dilapidated,” said Katie Andrios, president and?CEO of GWK Enterprises. Her father,
George Katsunis, was one of the businessmen involved with the Offstreet Parking association.
“The businessmen all banded their money together knowing having parking was crucial to getting traffic flow to the businesses,” she said.
“They slowly started buying the properties, tearing them down and paying to have the area paved,” Andrios said.
Though the Geneseo Offstreet Parking Association originally owned and maintained the parking lots, the parking lots were deeded to the city roughly 20 years ago.
“They sold the parking lots to the city for $1 and also put $40,000 in a trust fund to help manage the lots,” said Andrios.
The east parking lot is in need of repair.
“Unfortunately, the parking lot has been Band-Aided for the past four or five years. It’s in terrible shape.?It’s an embarrassment to our customers,” said Andrios.
Using funds from the sale of city land to First United Methodist Church as well as dollars from the downtown TIF, the city will fund the parking lot repair.
The lot will be milled and overlayed with asphalt. The north entrance to the lot will be modified and landscaping will be re-done, said Klint Rice, Geneseo’s public works director.
“We will add a storm sewer line on the west edge of the lot to accommodate all the downspouts. We will meet with business owners as they will have some expense in the gutter hook-ups,” said Rice.
“The goal is to get the gutters off the property and into the storm sewer. The businesses will have to pay to have their gutters hooked to the storm sewer,” he said.
“Before, the ice would melt and then the water would run into the alley and re-freeze. It wasn’t that much fun,” said Andrios, who added she and the other business owners she’s spoke with are happy to do their part to tie the gutters to the storm sewer.
The project is slated to start in June and take six to 10 weeks to complete, said Rice. For most of that time, the lot will be open for parking. However, on the days of milling and asphalt overlaying, the lot will be closed.
Page 2 of 2 - “It will be a mess and the lot will be out of commission for a day or two, but it will be well worth it in the long run,” said Andrios.
“This is a pretty big project, but it will be nice when it’s done. It will really help dress up downtown,”?said Rice.