MOUNT VERNON — Depending on future negotiations, the city might lose two sparking spots on South Mulberry Street. Council members adopted legislation on Monday night that cleared the way for that possibility.
Park National Bank is interested in turning the grass lot on the southwest corner of South Mulberry and West High streets into a parking lot for its employees. Vehicles would enter and exit the lot via South Mulberry Street, which requires removing two on-street parking spaces on the southwest corner.
A pole that has city signage on it will also need to be relocated to make way for the entrance/exit. Who is responsible for paying for the relocation is not yet determined.
City Engineer Brian Ball said that if American Electric Power moves the pole, it will be at the owner's expense, and the city will replace its signs when the pole is relocated. If the city decides it wants to put in a different type of pole or configuration for signage, the city might have a cost involved.
The grass lot is the site of the former Banana Joe's. If Park National Bank buys the adjacent lot to the west and combines the two lots, vehicles would enter and exit the lot via Walnut Alley rather than South Mulberry. In that event, the two parking spaces on South Mulberry will remain.
The single lot will feature at least 14 spaces. If the two lots are combined, around 28 spots will be available. In either case, the lot will be for employee parking during the day and open to the public after hours.
Councilman Mike Hillier voiced his concern that if the two lots are combined, the city will lose the public parking currently available in the western-most lot. Mayor Richard Mavis responded that by having bank employees park in a designated lot, it would free up the public spaces the employees are currently using.