Council OK’s YMCA workPublished 10:47pm Tuesday, July 10, 2012
A waiver of a building fee for the Old YMCA building and use of nine parking spots so construction crews can begin work on the structure were approved by the Selma City Council Wednesday, although the council reserves the right to require a walkway, running the length of the nine spaces, to be constructed.
Swift Drug Company owner Buddy Swift, citing research conducted in Augusta, Ga., told the council there would be $194,400 of potential profit loss if the spaces were taken away for the nine months Nancy Bennett, with the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society, asked for.
“The average parking space should turn over five times a day, and of those five cars, they should purchase about $25 in goods and services,” Swift said. “I watched those spaces this week, and it looks to me like they turn over about four times. So if you go $20 per car, that’s $80 a day. So if you multiply those nine spaces x $80 dollars x 270, which is nine months, you have $194,400 in potential loss.”
Swift left the meeting following the citizen’s comments portion of the meeting, but conversation about the parking spaces picked up near the end of the meeting.
Bennett said construction crews don’t intend to block the street for any longer than they have to, but asked the council to keep in mind that the organization is putting a tremendous amount of money into a building that will benefit the whole community.
“Sure, there’s pain before the beauty comes and I know that when I go shopping, I don’t get to park by the front door every time I park,” she said. “Sometimes I have to park a long way away and walk.”
Council members suggested adding a covered walkway to make up for some of the area that would be closed off, but Bennett was quick to note that that would cost the organization more money.
“[We’re spending] close to $300,000 on that building,” she said. “And 90-something feet or 50-something feet for the frontage of that building to add plywood, etc. is going to just add that much more expense. All I ask is that you know they’re not going to be there any longer than they have to.”
Ward 1 council member Tommy Atchison said he felt it was premature for the council to rule on what to do with the parking spaces.
“I think we’re trying to make a decision on information we don’t have about something we don’t know about,” he said. “I think it’s premature for us to make a motion on this or that. I just think that it can be worked out so people can work together.”
Bennett said she would get in touch with the contractor following the meeting and email Council President Cecil Williamson the approximate cost of a walkway after she received an estimate.
The Selma City Council will then decide on whether or not the walkway is needed.