If a restaurant owner wants easier access to alley parking, she will have to pay for almost half of the cost involved.
The Parsons City Commission agreed 3-1 Monday evening to cut a curb in an alley at Iron Press, 2200 Broadway Ave., as long as restaurant owner Alesha Morrison pays for 40% of the estimated cost of $2,500. Commissioner Kevin Cruse voted against the measure because he thought the city should pay the entire cost. Commissioner David Larsen was absent.
Morrison wants to open the alley between Broadway and Belmont Avenue to Corning Avenue. That would allow ingress and egress from the alley, which dead-ends just before Corning. The Iron Press has six parking spots in the alley, which customers now must drive nearly a block to use and then turn around and go back down the alley to leave.
On Monday City Manager Debbie Lamb said besides helping customers and the business, the curb cut would allow delivery trucks to use the alley instead of blocking part of Broadway. Additionally, city trash trucks could exit the alley when picking up trash instead of turning around.
The trash trucks, though, have been doing that for 45 years, Commissioner Tom Shaw said, and sanitation workers could continue using the alley as they do now. Business operation has driven the request for the curb cut, he said, and for that reason, the business should share in the cost. The Iron Press recently relocated from downtown to its new building after the property was rezoned for commercial use. The curb cut would benefit the business owner more than anyone else, Shaw said.
Shaw said other home and business owners have been told they are responsible for replacing curbs and sidewalks and cutting curbs for driveways, so it wouldn’t be right for the city to pay for all of the cost of the Iron Press curb cut. He also said the city officials need to be held to at least a higher standard than others in the community. Derek Clevenger, city utilities director, owns the Iron Press building.
“With the cost share, I can support it. Without it, it would not pass the smell test with me,” Shaw said.
Cruse said the city should pay for the project because opening the alley would help a local business and its customers.
“I don’t think that alley should ever have been blocked off in the first place,” Cruse said.
It was blocked with the creation of the Corning bypass, which was made the route of U.S. 160 when the city blocked off the highway, which was Main Street, to create the Parsons Plaza. The highway was rerouted to the north edge of the city and renamed U.S. 400, so the city has control over Corning again.
Like Cruse, Commissioner Jeff Perez also thought it was reasonable for the city to pay for all of the project cost.
“I just think there’s a benefit to all the residents on that block to access it,” Perez said.
He voted along with Shaw and Mayor Bill Hogelin to have the Iron Press pay for 40% of the cost, but he said he would have voted for the city to pay for all of it as a public improvement.
In other business, commissioners:
— Approved an agreement with KDOT for a project that will install under drains and replace concrete on 16th Street from 21st Street to Commerce Drive.
— Approved the closure of North 18th Street from Main to Washington from 7 to 11 p.m. Aug. 23 for the Parsons Chamber of Commerce’s annual Moonlight Madness.
— Approved the closure of Broadway between Heacock and 13th and the use of the north half of Forest Park from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 24 for a back-to-school event. Lunch will be served at the free event for all children, and there will be activities such as a dunk tank, free haircuts and live music.