WILLIAMSON – At a regular meeting of the Williamson City Council held Thursday, March 24, a discussion was held concerning parking near Mike’s Tires beside the Williamson Police Department office.
At a previous council meeting, Jason Allen, Project Manager for Veolia, was requested to obtain an estimate concerning the cost to fix the driveway to make a one way entrance.
Allen approached the council stating, “I was asked (at the last council meeting) to mark the area off over here on the city police parking lot and get some figures to find out what it would take to do the job. The estimate that you have before you is the quote for the material…”
Williamson Police Chief Barry Blair responded stating, “If I may interject, that is if the council agrees to lease three or four parking places to Mike Hall (owner of Mike’s Tires).”
The discussion continued concerning what the city intends to do concerning the parking lot.
Allen explained that there are two options. “One option is to block the entire parking area off, even the area that is on the corner that the tire gentleman uses. The other option was to step over about three or four parking spots that he currently uses or has been using … Either way, you have to come back on this side and fix a drive way area where you could leave off of U.S. 52 and cut up in there and make the police parking lot a one way.”
Councilwoman Judy Hamrick questioned as to how many spots the city would have left if the parking spots are leased to Mike’s Tires.
Blair responded stating, “If you lease that one corner to him, he could make three or four parking places and we would still have the majority of the parking lot. Either way, Jason (Allen) did the figure based upon blocking the entire lot off like we discussed in the previous council meeting or if you decide to lease the lot.”
Councilwoman Sherri Hairston-Brown responded stating, “Are we going to fix this? This is what it cost to fix it?”
Blair responded, “That is the estimate to fix it either way.”
Hairston-Brown responded stating, “We are going to fix this and we don’t have money to fix the pipe up Vinson Street? That is a bunch of bull crap.”
Hamrick responded stating, “Sherri, they are going to spend that if they are going to block it off too. Either way, that is what it cost.”
Hairston-Brown responded stating, “Well, just leave the parking lot alone.”
The discussion continued. Councilman Matthew Newsome stated, “I don’t understand why we would do it if he doesn’t want to lease it.”
Blair responded stating, “I thought at the previous council meeting, we spoke about blocking the entire thing off. The only way I am going to keep that road open constantly is have someone assigned out there to sit there all day.”
From the audience, Teresa McCune questioned, “Why can’t we just tell them not to do it and enforce that?”
Blair responded, “We have told them not to do it. Sgt. (John) Hall wrote one of the delivery drivers a ticket here recently. It hasn’t worked. Other people come in and out and they still park in the road or on the side of the street.”
McCune responded, “So, if I decided to start a business on city property you will just let me get away with it too?”
Councilman York Smith responded, “It is a bad place for a tire shop.”
Blair responded stating, “I agree with you. That tire shop has been there since 1998.
Hairston-Brown responded stating, “Nobody else has made exceptions for him but we are going to make exceptions for him. I have a home (in her ward) up there that has been flooded and everything else but you want to spend $1,000 and something else to make exceptions for him. I understand that is his business and that is our parking lot. You know, it is not fair. This is a woman’s home. This is something that she chose not to have done. He chose to put his business there. You are going to spend $1,000 dollars to fix something for somebody else? The city is?”
Blair responded stating, “I just did what I was requested to do.
Hairston-Brown responded, “I think this is a bunch of bull! Bull- xxxx! That’s what I think it is.”
Blair stated, “I am sorry you feel that way but with all due respect, I can’t just sit out there daylight and dark waiting on someone to pull up on that street and block the road. What else am I going to do?”
An audience member stated, “Can we get the cars off the lot? We have had cars parked there for months now that belongs to Mike Hall.”
Blair stated, “You have the right to enforce the law. Enforce it.”
On Tuesday, Sgt. John Hall of the Williamson Police Department explained to the Williamson Daily News that the tires mentioned at the meeting had been red tagged and removed over the weekend.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)