Board of Works action finalizes parking agreement
The City of Greencastle will now have enforcement powers over all parking spaces on the Courthouse Square and adjoining areas that are subject to a two-hour limit, thanks to passage of an interlocal agreement with the county.
The Greencastle Board of Public Works and Safety put its stamp of approval on the agreement this week, unanimously approving the interlocal agreement on a motion by board member Craig Tuggle. Aye votes from Trudy Selvia and Mayor Bill Dory made it unanimous.
The Putnam County Board of Commissioners had previously approved the interlocal agreement in a unanimous Jan. 2 vote of members Rick Woodall, David Berry and Don Walton.
Prior to the agreement, the City of Greencastle has had no legal means to enforce parking regulations on the inner portion of courthouse square due to county property extending approximately two-thirds of the way into each of the spaces immediately adjacent to the Putnam County Courthouse. As such, the city lacked jurisdiction over those spaces without an agreement with the county.
“Kudos to (City Attorney) Laurie Hardwick and (County Attorney) Jim Ensley for working diligently on this,” Mayor Dory said after its passage by the Board of Works this week. “We appreciate the leadership of the commissioners on this as well.”
Citing efforts in recent years to revitalize the historic downtown district, the agreement calls easily accessible parking “an integral part of successfully drawing patrons and businesses to the downtown.”
It has long been the thinking behind the two-hour limits elsewhere downtown — that if employees who work around the square can simply park there all day long, potential customers are deterred from patronizing downtown businesses.
The same could be said of the spaces inside the square.
As written, city parking ordinances not only enact a two-hour limit on individual spaces, but on any downtown parking, thus preventing drivers from simply returning to their cars and changing spaces every two hours.
Listed among the county’s responsibilities in the agreement is to “make all reasonable efforts to require county employees to park outside of any restricted parking areas (i.e. two-hour parking zones).”
Instead, courthouse workers will be asked to park in one of the four free, all-day lots that are less than two blocks from the square. They are the lot at Walnut and Indiana streets (old First Christian Church parking area), the lot at Columbia and Indiana streets (also known as the old Dick Brown Ford lot), the lot on the east side of the Moose Lodge at Franklin and Market streets and the city lot just north of the Banner Graphic building. The Vine Street parking lot, however, remains subject to two-hour parking restrictions.
The county will retain up to five parking spaces on the inner circle to be designated as reserved for county business purposes.
In return for monitoring and continuing to maintain the spaces (including striping, snow removal and street cleaning), the city will be responsible for collecting the fines and entitled to all funds collected in that effort.