St. Charles library lot may soon be available for public parking

The St. Charles Public Works Department is moving ahead to get maintenance work done on the city’s east side parking deck on Walnut Avenue between 2nd and 3rd avenues.

The city of St. Charles and the St. Charles Public Library are working on a shared parking agreement that would allow the library lot to be used for public parking during off hours on Fridays and Saturdays.

According to the agreement, the library’s 190-space parking lot at 1 S. Sixth Ave. would be available for public parking from 8 p.m to 2 a.m. Fridays and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays.

The city recently conducted a study to assess parking space inventory and recommend changes to improve the parking experience for visitors and residents.

The study reported that on weekends about 80% of downtown parking spaces are occupied, which is close to what is considered practical capacity or 85%. An interactive map of the current downtown parking inventory is available here.

One of the study’s suggestions for future improvements was to expand the parking supply by entering into shared parking agreements with some of the downtown property owners to allow for the use of privately-owned lots as public parking during designated times.

Members of the St. Charles Planning and Development Committee recommended approval of the shared parking agreement with the library at its May 13 meeting.

Both the city and the library would have the right to terminate the three-year agreement at any time with 90 days notice.

According to the agreement, the city would pay the library 7% of all maintenance costs related to snow removal, pavement patching, sealing and marking in the public parking area. Reimbursement costs are expected to be about $2,000 a year and are not to exceed $10,000 a year.

The city also would be responsible for installing and maintaining any additional signage.

The agreement is expected to go before the library board next month for possible approval before going to the City Council for possible final approval.