The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 9, 2012

Commission: Plans to remodel courthouse parking lot in early stages

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Plans to remodel the Garfield County Courthouse parking are in the earliest stages and no votes or approvals have been made, county officials said Friday.

“Nothing has been through a meeting and nothing has been approved,” District 1 County Commissioner Marc Bolz said. “Nothing has been through a meeting and nothing has become final.”

Concern spread through the county Friday morning and afternoon after a message on Facebook began circulating a rumor the courthouse lawn was going to be converted into a parking lot. The message urged county residents upset with the plan to contact commissioners.

Garfield County Assessor Wade Patterson echoed Bolz’s comments by also stating no plans had been finalized.

“We have not approved anything yet,” Patterson said, noting the county is considering recommendations made to them by Department of Homeland Security.

He said about four years ago a safety study was conducted for the courthouse by DHS. While sitting at a table in the commissioner’s meeting room a large truck pulled up and parked along the building.

“We knew we needed to do something,” Patterson said. “Our parking lot has been caving in. We knew we needed to replace it we just didn’t have the money to do it.”

The plans show the entire lot positioned more to the north, with land that currently is parking lot repurposed back into the lawn south of the proposed lot.

He said there are also issues with American with Disabilities Act compliance for the current parking lot.

“The plan we’re looking at, we won’t add any square footage to the parking lot,” Patterson said. “We have been studying this concept for at least eight years.”

Current construction costs are at all-time lows and Patterson said that was another reason the plan was being considered.

“ Everything is just in the planning stages. We don’t know what it’s going to cost. It might come back to be too much,” Patterson said. “We’re not going to borrow money and go into debt to do it.”



Check Saturday's ENE print edition or go to tonight for a further update to this story.