Garage plan pulled off agenda

A land development plan of the multi-storied parking garage known as Trade and Transit II was pulled off the city planning commission’s agenda Monday by recommendation of Mayor Gabriel J. Campana.

Campana confirmed to the Sun-Gazette that William E. Nichols Jr., general manager of River Valley Transit, the entity that owns the lot at West Third and Laurel streets, was not able to attend this week’s City Council meeting and said the proposed garage’s land development plan probably would be back before the planners at their next meeting.

He also said the city continues to pursue funding for the $9 million garage.

“River Valley Transit has ability to borrow up to $5 million so it’s not impacting the general fund,” Campana said. “I’m also pursuing alternative funding sources.”

Campana said he recently spoke to several downtown merchants who expressed a concern for their patrons parking needs during the upcoming holiday shopping time.

“They expressed to me that temporary parking would be crucial to their viability,” Campana said.

The mayor then hinted that the empty lot left after the Mid-Town parking garage was demolished and Trade and Transit II is scheduled be built may provide the additional parking merchants are seeking.

Campana didn’t attend the planning commission meeting, during which the planners took action on two items.

The commission gave positive recommendations for two downtown law firms requesting certificates of appropriateness for office signs.

The law firms are Lepley, Engelman and Yaw at 140 E. Third St. and McNerney, Page Vanderlin and Hall at 433 Market St.

The sign at 140 E. Third St. is a wooden sign with no illumination, much like the one outside the office but updated, according to Joe Gerardi, city codes administrator.