King working to improve downtown

Council seeking additional grant fund, increased parking

By Nicholas Elmes -

The King City Council approved a number of initiatives which could transform the face of the downtown area during their regular monthly meeting Monday.

City Manager Homer Dearmin told the council that the city had an opportunity to receive an additional $20,000 in grant funding to spur downtown improvements.

“In August, the City of King applied for a matching grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for the purpose of funding improvements to the Kings downtown area,” he said, noting that those improvements would included extended sidewalks and lighting, as well as additional benches and trash receptacles. He told council that during a recent meeting with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council he had learned that, if the city was willing to put up the matching funds, they could apply for an additional $20,000 in funding. “Since the project was submitted the city has had the opportunity to purchase a lot near the downtown area that can be used to increase downtown parking spaces.”

Dearmin estimated that the cost of parking lot construction could reach $89,000.

“If the council agrees to authorize staff to pursue additional grant funds and those funds are awarded, the city could match those funds and reduce taxpayer funds spent on the project by $20,000,” said Dearmin.

The council unanimously agreed to the proposal, before considering purchasing the new property, located directly across from City Hall, for a purchase price of $70,000.

Dearmin said the city would need to obtain a driveway easement for the property from the Department of Transportation.

“It will just take the time and paperwork to get that done,” he said. “It could provide at least 45 additional parking spaces, maybe more with the changes we are making to the access. It could be used for public events like Halloween and the Christmas parade, as well as for people to park and shop downtown or for merchants to park in to open up spaces in front of their businesses for parking.”

Council unanimously agreed to purchase the property.

Councilman Dillard Burnette noted that the city was also considering “other alternatives” for additional parking in the downtown area.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

Council seeking additional grant fund, increased parking

By Nicholas Elmes

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