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MailTribune.com
  • Medford parking additions approach $4 million

  • It will cost more than $1.6 million to pave two city-owned parking lots along Riverside Avenue, bringing the city's total investment for the lots to nearly $4 million, the Medford City Council has learned.
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    • Cost for 300 parking spaces
      Purchase portion of Red Lion $1,700,000
      Demolition of Red Lion buildings $103,000
      Pave Red Lion lot $975,000
      Purchase Dollar GMC $525,000
      Demolish and pave lot $674,000
      Total cost $3...
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      Cost for 300 parking spaces
      Purchase portion of Red Lion $1,700,000

      Demolition of Red Lion buildings $103,000

      Pave Red Lion lot $975,000

      Purchase Dollar GMC $525,000

      Demolish and pave lot $674,000

      Total cost $3,977,000
  • It will cost more than $1.6 million to pave two city-owned parking lots along Riverside Avenue, bringing the city's total investment for the lots to nearly $4 million, the Medford City Council has learned.
    "It was more money than we were expecting, but nobody was surprised by it," Councilor Daniel Bunn said.
    The City Council last week agreed to tap into a contingency fund to raise $975,000 needed to pave over a portion of the former Red Lion Inn parking lot.
    The money will be used to create 200 parking spaces.
    The Medford Urban Renewal Agency also authorized $674,000 to build a parking lot across from Rogue Community College at the former Dollar GMC on Riverside Avenue and 10th Street. The original estimate to raze the building and construct a 100-space parking lot was $450,000.
    The cost to buy both the Red Lion and Dollar properties and build the two parking lots is now expected to cost $3,977,000.
    Bunn said the Red Lion lot had more issues to deal with than expected along the riparian corridor next to Bear Creek.
    The Medford Urban Renewal Agency purchased the Red Lion property last year for about $1.7 million, then spent another $103,000 to demolish three buildings.
    MURA had budgeted about $2 million to purchase the property and start work to build a parking lot.
    However, MURA ran out of money to complete the parking lot, so City Council stepped up and contributed the dollars needed.
    "I still think it's the right thing to do even though urban renewal can't foot the whole bill," Bunn said.
    The council did express concern about using city contingency dollars to pay for the parking lot repairs.
    "We need to replenish it," Councilor Dick Gordon said.
    Despite the reservations, all six councilors present at the meeting last Thursday voted to use contingency money to build the parking lot.
    Almost 8 percent of the $12.4 million that the city holds in contingency will be used to build the parking lot.
    Once the current budget year is completed at the end of June, city officials hope additional revenues or other projects that come in under budget can allow replenishment of the contingency fund.
    MURA paid $525,000 last year to acquire the Dollar GMC property, which will be used by students at Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University.
    Councilor Chris Corcoran said the downtown is going through a growth spurt. Once the One West Main building is completed on Main and Fir streets, the Evergreen parking garage will be almost full.
    Corcoran said the proposed parking lots will be needed to handle additional visitors in the downtown.
    Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @reporterdm.
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