Rules of the Road

The purpose of this blog is to share with you my thoughts on issues pertaining to Oil City and Venango County and to foster discussion.

However, that requires some basic rules. Personal attacks, inappropriate language and venom-filled postings will not be tolerated. Comments will be screened, and if necessary edited, before posting.

Disagreement and a variety of opinions are encouraged, but I ask that it always be in a respectful, positive manner. So fire away, but do so cleanly

Monday, October 10, 2011

Between the rock and the hard place

Thursday council will have to make a decision on whether to continue with the current repairs on the parking ramp, or close it and save the remaining money – about $300,000 -- borrowed through a bond offering to repair the ramp.

There is no good decision, just what will be the best for the community of a number of bad options. And no matter what decision is reached Thursday, that is not the end of it.

If repairs continue and the ramp reopened, the city must decide whether to undertake more extensive repairs and major maintenance in the future to extend its life and the huge financial commitment that requires, or if it is just going to buy some time. If closed, attention must turn to its demolition, estimated to cost at least $1.3 million.

Right now – Monday evening, Oct. 10 – I’m leaning towards completing the current repairs, to buy the time to sort out the many issues related to the ramp, our downtown and parking and to develop a long-term plan for whatever the eventual outcome, including the financing.

Unfortunately, I can not attend Thursday’s council meeting due to having to be away on business. It’s quite possible that my current view would be changed by those discussions, and of course whatever recommendations City Manager Ryan Eggleston makes.

Today in a brief discussion with me the City Manager did a good job of outlining the pros and cons of both continuing and stopping work and closing the ramp for me. There are still a number of questions outstanding that would impact the pros and cons.

Whatever decision is made Thursday, I personally believe this council must come up with a definitive resolution over the next few months. It would be unfair and irresponsible to “kick the can down the road” and leave the question and costs of either demolition or renovation to some future council.

There is no easy answer to the problems presented by the ramp. Every answer is costly and potentially financially devastating to the city and every answer carries with it its own set of problems for our downtown and community.

The city (council) is truly between the rock and the hard place on this one, or perhaps the phrase should be between the concrete and asphalt.


Dan robertson said...


I would tear it down, no matter the repair there will be a point where money for maint. will be tight or nonexistant and repairs will go by the wayside and guess what? Yep the city will get to decide whether to tear down or renovate. I understand about the businesses underneath but sometimes it comes down to whats best, and this time IMO whats best is tearing it down.

deanna said...

Well stated. I am anxious to hear the decision.