The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

November 15, 2012

County’s remodeling of the courthouse parking lot keeps with development of downtown

ENID, Okla. — Overall, we like the plan the county is considering for remodeling the parking area around Garfield County Court House.

The plan still is in the early stages, and no votes have been taken by county officials. It takes into consideration some recommendations made by the Department of Homeland Security in a safety study conducted for the courthouse about four years ago.

What would happen is the parking lot behind the courthouse would be redone, pushing it farther back from the courthouse. The proposed plan shows the current parking lot arcing north of the courthouse clock tower, away from the edge of the building where the current parking lot is located.

The current parking lot is in bad shape and needs to be replaced. The county also would redo sidewalks around the courthouse to make them compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Moving the parking lot would result in the loss of a couple of trees on the north lawn, one of which is suffering from Dutch elm disease already. The trees possibly would be replaced with Shumard oaks.

The plan would not do away with the courthouse lawn and gazebo, which are popular venues for events downtown. If anything, the plan would enhance the area.

Another part of the plan would be returning parking spots on the south side of the courthouse along Broadway to the city for public parking.

Ideally, we’d like to see a plan that wouldn’t lose any of the courthouse lawn, but we understand the situation. The majority of the courthouse law would be kept and enhanced.

Overall, it’s a great plan and keeping with the continued development of the downtown area.

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