Cars are parked in a gravel surfaced parking lot Tuesday
morning next to a home in Hartford that the city
purchased earlier this month to be made into a parking
lot. The home and trees will be demolished and removed
and then made into a city-owned parking lot. The gravel
parking area will also have an asphalt surface to make
the area all for parking spaces. The home is at the
corner of Mill Street and Park Avenue with the Jack
Russell Memorial Library directly behind it.
HARTFORD — In just a
few minutes, the Common Council on Tuesday night
approved action that some council members said they had
hoped to see take place for nearly 10 years.
In a unanimous vote, the council approved a contract for
about $208,000 with Wondra Construction of Iron Ridge to
demolish an old home on a lot at the corner of Mill
Street and Park Avenue, level and grade the site and
then construct a new parking lot for customers of nearby
downtown businesses. “The bid came in much higher than
we expected,” said City Engineer Jason Schall. “But as
part of the contract Wondra Construction agreed to work
with the city to complete a change order, reducing the
total project cost by about $33,000.”
Officials said the project had originally been estimated
at about $95,000. The price could still be reduced
because some site work could be done by city workers,
thus reducing the work required by Wondra workers which
would reduce the cost. Schall said the bid may have come
in much higher than expected because many companies are
busy now with other jobs and have difficulty adding
business to their schedules at this time of the year.
“I had thought about us waiting and rebidding the
demolition and the parking lot construction under two
separate contracts,” said Alderman Wayne Rusniak. “But
when I got to the final line of the proposal and read
that all of the costs could be reimbursed by the TIF 10
because the project is within its borders, I thought
they we should go ahead with the costs and contract as
After the police and fire departments conduct training
drills in the old home on the site in the first week of
September, construction workers could move in and begin
demolishing the home and garage. City workers will also
begin to cut down trees and remove brush from the lot.
Officials hope the new parking lot can be completed with
a new asphalt surface by around Nov. 1.
The purchase of the property will be divided between the
city, the downtown BID group, the Cobblestone Hotel and
the Mineshaft Restaurant.
City Administrator Steve Volkert said earlier the new
lot will give the city about 42 additional parking
spaces and with the spaces available in the adjacent
gravel covered lot, owned by Mineshaft owner Tom
Masters, there should be a total of 86 parking stalls.
Part of the agreement with the hotel is that eight
stalls are to be reserved for overnight parking by hotel
customers. As part of the deal, Masters’ parking lot
will also receive an asphalt surface and be painted to
indicate parking stalls.
Increased parking for downtown customers was one of
several goals included in the city’s downtown
redevelopment plan that was put into motion about three
years ago. Officials believed if the project could not
be completed this year the new parking lot would not be
available for use until about June 1 — a date they felt
was too late to cause any other delays now.