After being delayed twice earlier this year — and initially scheduled for completion back in March — a new parking lot is finally ready for customers in downtown Roseboro.
The project, whose site is located on N. West Railroad Street in the lot next to Spell Furniture, has been forced into delays twice — the first because of a snafu with the grant’s paperwork, the second time because of a decision by the board to replace sewer lines on Gold Street. That sewer project, which is being paid for through the Small Town Economic Project grant, widened sewer lines from five inches to eight inches to keep the lines from being so easily backed up.
“We just kept going on with it because a parking lot has been needed in the downtown area to help old and new downtown businesses keep their customers in town,” Mayor David Alexander said this week. “Now it is complete and we have over 20 new parking spaces for customers, so they can park with ease.”
However, only half of the 1 1/2-acre empty lot is a paved lot.
The project, being funded through a Rural Development Grant, was initially estimated to cost $84,102. However, the town could only afford to use approximately $70,000 of it.
“We ran out of money,” the mayor said flatly. “It’s as simple as that; we just didn’t have enough to do the whole lot so we had what we could paved and marked, which came out to just over 20 new parking spots. The other half of the lot will need some work. There is grass coming out of the cement and things like that; it just needs to be cleaned up.”
Alexander said he is hoping to plan a sort of community clean-up day that will have volunteers coming in to lend a hand to clear the rest of the lot.
“We will have to figure out something,” he explained. “Either that or we will have to wait to get another grant or some funding to complete it. Right now, it doesn’t look good.”
However, with just over 20 new parking spots, the completed part of the lot is a hit, the mayor noted.
“It looks good and people are beginning to park there everyday, which is a great thing,” he said. “The businesses, the customers and the students at the Sampson Community College Annex have been filling it; that’s great.”
Only one complaint has been expressed to the mayor so far. “Some people are parking really close to the businesses and staying all day,” he said of the complaint. “But that is really not an issue; the people just have to be aware that if they are going to stay there all day, they need to park further back from the businesses. We want front spots to be for customers who are going to come in and come out so they will have quick access. It is as simple as just letting them know.”
Although no date has been set for a community clean-up day for the other half of the parking lot, Alexander said that volunteers are always welcome to offer their assistance to the town.
“If anyone wanted to help us out and volunteer, all they have to do is call us,” he noted. “We will be glad to sign them up.”
To volunteer call the Roseboro Town Office at 910-525-4121.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.