For the fun of it, let’s play Monopoly! On the Board, one of the things we can buy is a parking deck. A deck we are told that will be great for Edgecombe County. Consider a few of the following things before plunking your Monopoly money down.
- This parking deck has 700 spaces.
- You currently have 328 spaces being used for the Event Center.
- The hotel wants 140 spaces.
- Building the parking deck On Top of our existing 328 spaces
- Net gain 232 spaces.
- Parking deck total cost (including the acquisition of land, but not including consultants) $18,350.000
- Cost per new space, $79.095
I highly recommend that instead, you consider building surface parking across the street from the Event Center. I don’t see how, but let’s say that costs $1 million. This hotel, parking, mixed-use project is being touted as great for Edgecombe County. Makes you wonder how many times residents of Wards 1,2,3, 4 will stay in this proposed hotel? If they park in the parking deck, they will have to pay to do so.
It is a false premise to say that building the hotel is an economic driver. A hotel does not bring restaurants and shops and living above the store apartments. It is having these things in place that result in needing a place to stay. If this project is really good for Wards 1-4, spend the $1 million on surface parking and invest the rest of that $18,350.000 in these Wards that have the most distressed housing, missing sidewalks, potholes in the streets, unkempt parks, crime, and slum landlords.
The party line is that Nash County is responsible for these poor conditions, and the plight of these Wards. This is an unexamined idea! You have to ask why Wards 1-4 look the way they do if the majority vote on the council holds the power? This majority, had they wanted to, could have directed city resources into these Wards, having the best sidewalks, tree-lined streets, liveable and safe housing, the best parks in the city rather than the worst. This is within the purview of the City of Rocky Mount. Wards 1-4 are the Gateway of Rocky Mount and should be seeing growth. Will the October 8, 2019 election finally be the end date when the citizens of Rocky Mount are no longer willing to be disrespected by the leaders who say they want to help them?
September 19 -6:30, at a Meet The Candidate Event held at ECC, the contested Council Seat in Ward 1, held by Councilman Knight since 2003, spent his time defending himself and the current Council for all the great strides they have made. There is little correlation, however, between those words and tangible results in Ward 1. The winner for the evening was Tarrick Pittman, who is running for Mr. Knight’s seat. A retiring, quiet, gentle young man, he stood head and shoulders taller than all the rest with his articulate, well planned, plans for Ward 1 and his work for the entire city. An impressive resume, his technological expertise informs his approach. He is a bright, new hope, and Monopoly player for Rocky Mount. Next time we’ll talk about buying a Monopoly Utility Company with the money we saved by providing surface parking. A parking deck might be nice to have, but repair and replacing infrastructure is a must-have.