Streator council eyes purchase of downtown parking lot

Council can add 10-20 spaces for $6,000

The Streator City Council will vote Wednesday to buy a parking lot on the 100 block of South Sterling Street that will add 10 to 20 public spaces in the city’s downtown.

A donor to the Streator Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry will pitch in $6,000 and the city will be responsible for an additional $6,000 to buy the lot at 118 S. Sterling St., adjacent to the former Illinois American Water offices.

The owner of the lot is the Hart Family Partnership LLC, managed by the children of former councilman Bruce Hart.

City Manager David Plyman said the lot’s proximity to an auto repair shop, fitness center, tavern and other businesses make it a beneficial purchase. He also said it will offer more public spaces for off-street parking to downtown residents.

Councilman Joe Scarbeary said if the city is able to get employees of downtown businesses to park in that lot instead of on the street, it will be a win-win.

Councilman Matt McMullen said he is not initially in favor of the purchase. He noted that while the city will pay $6,000 for the lot, it also will have to pay for the upkeep of the lot, likely requiring a resurfacing. He said the city should seek a lot with more spaces, or in a better location in town.

Councilwoman Tara Bedei said parking lots don’t go up for sale very often, and when they do, they typically have environmental concerns, such as underground gas tanks to clean up. She said the Sterling Street lot has no environmental concerns.

The council meets 7 p.m. Wednesday at the council chambers in City Hall, 204 S. Bloomington St.

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello

Derek is a Streator High and University of Illinois graduate. He worked at the Albany-Herald in Albany, Ga., and for Sauk Valley Media in Sterling, before returning to his hometown paper. He's now news editor for both the NewsTribune and The Times.