Canton council to discuss city parking issues
by Erin Dentmon
edentmon@cherokeetribune.com
January 16, 2013 12:00 AM | 1604 views | 4 4 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — The Canton City Council may start taking steps toward finding solutions for downtown parking problems.

The Council is scheduled to discuss a request for proposals for a parking analysis at its next meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Canton City Hall.

Council Member Hooky Huffman said the city’s merchants have been displeased with the limited downtown parking for some time.

“In conjunction with the limited spaces is the two-hour parking. Ladies who would want to come have lunch downtown and walk around to the shops, that’s hard to do in two hours,” Huffman said.

With the county hoping to find an occupant for the Jones building on Main Street, Huffman said additional parking might be needed.

The Cherokee County Board of Education’s administrative offices are located downtown, creating a need for parking spaces as well.

“Plus, there’s our overall growth,” Huffman said. “We need a study to see what solutions we can possibly come up with for the short run, as well as the long run.”

Council Member Bill Bryan said he hopes a parking analysis will help define what the city’s problems are.

“Is it the two-hour limits? Is it the number of spaces? Is it the distance that folks have to walk? What other problems are there?” he said in an email.

Huffman said he would like to see the city, county and school board go in together to build a parking deck downtown.

“If the three parties went into it together, it would not be such a burden on any one party,” he said.

Bryan also a downtown parking deck may be needed in the future, especially if the city experiences growth downtown.

Huffman and Bryan both said a deck could possibly be built near the school board’s offices.

“I would like to know the likelihood of people being willing to walk the couple of blocks from this deck to Main

Street and North Street,” Bryan said, noting that a joint project could benefit the city, the county and the school board.

Mayor Gene Hobgood said he is hoping to find out, through the analysis, what extent of a parking problem downtown Canton has, if any.

“We should be able to determine the parking needs for the downtown area well into the future,” he said.

Bryan said a long-term plan is the most important thing the city can accomplish from completing a study.

The Council is also expected to:

* Vote on a consent agenda including renewal of an auction contract, a code amendment removing a sentence forbidding Sunday alcohol sales and the appointment of Chief Financial Officer Nathan Ingram as acting city manager in the absence of the city manager.

* Vote on a charter amendment allowing the mayor to employ one administrative assistant;

* Vote on a budget amendment eliminating funds for the mayor’s executive assistant;

* Discuss and take action on a revised fire bond resolution;

* Vote on ballot language for the fire bond referendum and advertising;

* Vote on amendments to stormwater and SPLOST recreation fund budgets for Etowah Park;

* Vote on a code amendment regarding the appointment of committees;

* Hear a request for a memory acknowledgement;

* Discuss and vote on a $63 qualifying fee for the November 2013 municipal election;

* Discuss and possibly vote on a design change order for the SCADA system at Hickory Log Creek Reservoir;

* Discuss and possibly vote on an agreement to terminate 2005 and 2007 agreements with the Cherokee County Water and Sewer Authority;

* Discuss a proposed charter amendment regarding mayoral vetoes;

* Discuss a proposed charter amendment relating to the mayor’s role as chief executive officer of the city; and

* Discuss a proposed charter amendment changing decorum rules.
Comments
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Old Joe
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January 17, 2013
So why does Downtown Canton need more parking? The current Council has done everything possible to stymie growth in downtown and their current course will ensure its downfall. Even if there was parking, there is no place to shop and very few restaurants. Why pay more money to figure out the obvious? When Canton has a REAL parking problem because there are so many shops and restaurants, that will be a welcome day. BUT that day will never come with the current lack of leadership and vision in City Hall. Sad.
wfox111
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January 16, 2013
I was going to come to downtown and walk around and do some shopping. I was afraid that I couldn't get all of my shopping done in 2 hours...so I went to Wal-Mart....in Woodstock.
We can do better
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January 16, 2013
So the City of Canton, after spending the last few years converting parking spaces downtown into landscaping, now says we don't have enough parking spaces downtown and that we need to pay for a study to figure out what our parking needs are. Good grief!

And if it is determined that more parking is needed, then they want the Board of Education and the County to go in on a parking deck with the City. The BOE and County would be foolish to get involved in any joint venture with the trainwreck that is City Hall. Just ask the Cobb-Marietta Water Authority about joint ventures with City Hall.

in the know
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January 23, 2013
And if anyone thinks that the Board of Education has money to spare on a parking deck, they are either naive or as ignorant and out of touch as the City Council members!
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