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Parking issue comes before S. Whitley council

August 27, 2010

SOUTH WHITLEY — Designated parking along Columbia Street remains an unsolved issue as the Brownstone on State owners Kim and Mike Balser and Carol’s Corner owner Carol Eberly were at the South Whitley Town Council meeting Tuesday to discuss the issue. Both businesses utilize parking along the street.
The Balsers would like to see the parking be converted to angle parking, while Eberly, who is concerned about losing part of her parking lot’s entrance, prefers that it remain parallel.
In July, South Whitley attorney Greg Hockemeyer said Eberly’s business will eventually have to mark a 60-foot entryway to her business and the town will also designate parking once the sewer project is completed.
“We talked about possible angle parking on both sides,” council member John Dunn said. “Dave Wilkinson is checking to see if there is enough room to angle park on both sides and we could put more parking spaces down there by angle parking.”
Eberly is opposed to designated parking along the north side of Columbia Street because vehicles with trailers make wide turns to get into her business.
“I have vehicles who come in and make the turn on top of the hill and park,” Eberly said. “That is why I bought the old Bayman building, to make it more accessible so larger vehicles could get in there and if we do parking lines on Columbia Street I think we should do the whole town then.”
Dennis Eberhart passed out aerial maps of the area. It was determined that a 60-foot entrance into Carol’s Corner and designated parking lines would benefit both businesses.
To alleviate some of the parking congestion, Eberly said her employees are advised to park in the Crossroads Bank parking lot and she pays the bank for this service in return. The move frees up seven to nine parking spaces
“I always rented the bank parking, I kind of paid the bank a bit and have always been polite to keep my employees off the street so they do not take up parking spots,” Eberly said. “I kind of think some of the other businesses in town could go over there and park too ... the bank is more than lenient except when they have a special function ... this is the polite thing to do.”
Kim Balser questioned if Eberly pays the bank cash for use of the parking lot.
“I guess I could drop the rent from over there and save myself ice cream money or whatever … because I pay them with ice cream to make sure they have treats,” Eberly said. “I can kind of let that slide a bit and put my people back on the street because I don’t know what else to do.”
With Wilkinson absent, parallel parking versus angle parking will be discussed and resolved at the next scheduled meeting.
“We are all here for the benefit of the town of South Whitley and what benefits one should benefit us all,” council member Tonya Warner said. “It’s really kind of sad because I don’t want to be a feuding community because a customer parking problem is actually a good problem.”

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