PARKERSBURG -Drainage recommendations, scope of work and specifications for construction of a parking lot on property where the magistrate court building stood were turned over Monday to the Wood County Commission.
"At this point, we are up against the clock so I've simplified my recommendations because we need to get this in before the closing of the asphalt plants. If we don't, it will be next spring before anything can be done," Wood County Engineer Bill Brown told the commissioners.
The former magistrate court building was torn down in June. Plans call for a parking lot to be constructed on the vacant lot that sits in front of the Wood County Justice Center. The magistrate court, along with sheriff's law enforcement and holding center have been moved to the justice center.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Wood County Engineer Bill Brown presents his findings and recommendations to Wood County commissioners Monday.
County officials initially asked ZMM, the project designers for the justice center, for cost estimates to design the parking lot. County officials said those cost estimates came back higher than anticipated, so they asked Brown to look at the project.
Brown said some cleanup needs to be done, then excavation and grading would be done to prepare the site.
"The parking lot will slope down to Avery Street. It's the same slope it is now, so we are not changing the stormwater flow," Brown said.
The lot will be asphalt, but some of the older concrete will be incorporated. County officials said it may be possible to treat the asphalt to make it compatible in appearance to the concrete.
"The foundation is very important, you can do it right now or redo it later," Brown said.
Some new curbing will be added and Brown recommended some additional lighting be installed, which can be done in the spring.
County officials said the number of spaces and whether they would be leased spaces, employee parking, visitor parking, designated jury parking or metered parking is under discussion. Brown's report notes the magistrate court has requested 19 spaces, including parking for magistrates, clerks and law enforcement personnel.
Commission President Blair Couch said there may be some trees, tables, possibly some signage, but he noted landscaping will be kept minimal to avoid the need for maintenance.
"This will basically be a big square lot. It will be a good asset for weekend activities as well by providing additional parking, I know they could have used it for the Taste of Parkersburg and for Homecoming, for example," Couch said.
County officials said earlier estimates came in under the bid ceiling limit of $15,000. The commissioners authorized Brown to obtain three cost quotes and authorized the county administrator, if estimates are under the bid limit, to proceed with the selected contractor.
"If the estimates come in over the bid limit, we'll put together a bid package and proceed to get bids," Couch said.