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Posted: August 28, 2013 Eau Claire City Council Green Lights New Parking Lot

By Andrew Doud of the E.C. Leader Telegram

A new public parking lot near Phoenix Park is only expected to be used during warm weather, and the city does not expect to plow it.


In a 10-0 vote Tuesday, the Eau Claire City Council approved a 53-stall lot at the northwest corner of the intersection of Forest and East Madison streets, which would ease traffic during special events and the farmers market at Phoenix Park.


Forest Street Parking Lot
Photo by Geoff Moeding

"I think it's important we provide a space for people from the farmers market, especially so they don't have to carry their items so far," Councilman Bob Von Haden said.


City deputy engineer Doug Derks noted the city currently does not plan to plow the lot in winter, but that could change if it sees more year-round use than currently anticipated.


"If the demand is there, we may end up having to plow there in winter," he said.


A Monday night public hearing of the City Council raised concerns about Xcel Energy's need to get large trucks through the lot in case of emergencies at the nearby substation.


But on Tuesday, city staff provided the council with a letter Xcel wrote the city in July giving its general support to the parking lot, which would partially be built on the utility company's land.


City engineers will work with Xcel on the parking lot plan, Derks said, and would return to the City Council if any major changes are necessary.


The council also will vote on the project after contractors submit bids for it. The lot is estimated to cost $150,000 for standard asphalt or $264,000 for porous asphalt.


A slightly larger 79-stall plan failed to gain council approval last summer in a 4-4 vote.


Read the complete story on the City Council meeting in the Leader Telegram.

Also during Tuesday's meeting, the council voted 10-0 to approve rezoning needed for Commonweal Development to build a third Riverfront Terrace apartment building. Joining the two other residential buildings on the block southeast of Wisconsin Street and Riverfront Terrace, the new building would have 57 units - a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments.

















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