The redevelopment of the old grocery store property on Mason Avenue, has led to the loss of the two parking lots, and has put a serious strain on public parking in the central business district. The Town is scrambling to find a way to make up for lost parking. While Town-owned property behind the library could partially replace the spaces, the location is hardly central. Even so, the construction bid was much higher than anticipated and the Town has deferred the project.
The grand mess the Town finds itself in is of its own making. While they pretend to be concerned about parking on Mason Avenue, their actions over the years tell a different story. The constricted, claustrophobic reverse angle parking is a case in point. In reality, the Town could have bought the Meatland property for pennies on the dollar–they are going to have to spend 10 times that amount to try to make up for what they lost. To top things off, Phase three of the Multi-Million Dollar Multi-Use Trail to Nowhere is about to negate over twenty parking spaces that have occupied the business district for well over one hundred years. There is a reason that section of Peach Street has always been left open–to accommodate business parking.
The Town has leased property from Bay Coast Railroad just to the south of Mason Avenue to provide additional parking. Some improvements have already been made to this lot. The Town has decided to extend the lease with the railroad to 50 years. Additionally, the town will wait on providing additional lighting to the parking lot until after the installation of lighting fixtures for the new structure on Mason Avenue and the parking lot lighting to the east side of said structure. Once the lighting installation is complete the town will be able to assess the situation and determine the location of additional fixtures, if any, that the town will need to install to provide for the safety of visitors utilizing the parking facility.