On Monday, the Woodstock City Council approved a contract with First Cherokee State Bank to lease property on Fowler Street south of Firestone Wood Fired Pizza and Grill to alleviate parking demands in the downtown area.
The city will pay $100 per month from its tax allocation district for one year to use the property.
Community Development Director Richard McLeod said the asphalt is already there, so all the city would have to do is perform the striping.
McLeod said the city could fit between 40 and 50 spaces once the striping is complete.
Councilwoman Tessa Basford said while she was in support of the lease agreement, it was imperative businesses in the downtown area encourage their employees to park further away from the front entrances.
McLeod said some of the employers are working on establishing a penalty system for employees that are “caught parking in prime spaces.”
The city has been mulling what it could do to increase parking as well as alert residents to the public parking spaces the city already has.
Woodstock Downtown Development Authority Chairman Jimmy Long said the city has added about 120 spaces throughout the downtown area in the last few years.
City Manager Jeff Moon also said the city is in the process of receiving a parking study that will show what the city could do to increase the number of spaces.
Moon and other city leaders stressed to the public that the city does have plenty of parking, and McLeod added the city is also looking at “multiple efforts” in improving things such as signage and lighting throughout the core.
Mayor Donnie Henriques applauded the decision to move forward with the lease agreement.
“This is, I think, is the best solution we have,” he said, adding the city has worked hard during the recession to become the “envy of other cities in the state.”
In other business, the city also approved an agreement with Cherokee County to resurface and make repairs along Ragsdale Road between Trickum Road and Highway 92.
Crews will begin work on Tuesday and work is expected to continue for three weeks.
The total cost is $169,582, and since the road cuts in and out of both jurisdictions, both entities will split the cost.
The county will contribute $75,383 and Woodstock will pay $94,199.
The repairs, which are being paid out of the county’s Road and Bridges Department’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) program, will consist of pavement deep patching, leveling to re-establish the roadway crown, widening the pavement to 22 feet and resurfacing, said Cherokee County Public Works Director Geoff Morton.
Morton added the shoulders will be leveled with the new surface, ditches will be graded to allow for proper drainage and new pavement striping will be applied.
The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners is set to consider the county’s portion of the intergovernmental agreement during its June 5 meeting, Morton added.
The Woodstock City Council also:
* Directed City Manager Jeff Moon to bring back a draft ordinance to address noise in the central business district;
* Approved a contract with Georgia Electronic Accident Reporting System for online submission of accident reports completed by the Woodstock Police Department;
* Met in closed session to discuss real estate, personnel and litigation, but took no action upon returning.
Council members Randy Brewer and Chris Casdia were not present.