Major parking changes for Courthouse Square

This new parking lot, located at the corner of Market and North Streets, should ease some of the parking issues around the courthouse square. (Photo by Alisa Mason)

New parking lot increases consumer access to local businesses – 

By Patricia Beech – 

Visitors and shoppers will have an easier time finding a parking place on Courthouse Square thanks to the addition of a new parking lot located one block behind the courthouse next to the West Union post office.
According to Commissioner Diane Ward, the new parking area situated at the corner of Market and North Streets will help relieve parking congestion around Courthouse Square.
“Parking has been a problem on the square for years,” she said. “Especially on the days when the court calls in potential jurors – it really becomes a major problem.”
Ward said the additional parking spaces will also increase access to other local enterprises.
“It will open up street parking for people visiting businesses on the square,” she added. “The banks, the pharmacy, the restaurants, the flower shops, as well as all the attorneys’ offices will all benefit because customers will be able to park near where they’re shopping or doing business.”
The county purchased the parking lot property several years ago from the McHenry Lumber Company and installed a rarely-used graveled parking lot.
“People had no idea how to park there,” says Ward. “It was difficult because there were no lines, and a chain link fence ran right up the middle of it.”
The new paved parking area has approximately 40 clearly marked parking spaces that are easily accessible from both Market Street and North Street.
Holly Johnson, Director of the Adams County Economic Development Office said the parking lot upgrades were funded by money left over from the county’s defunct Transportation Department.
“The money used for this project has been sitting in the General Fund ever since the county did away with the Transportation Department,” Johnson said. “Since those funds were allocated for transportation, the Commissioners used them to upgrade the parking lot – primarily for people employed in the courthouse and the county government building because that will free up street parking for members of the public who have business on the square.”
She said no taxpayer money was used to pay for the parking lot upgrades.