published Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Grant funds parking lot improvements in Dayton

By Tom Davis/Correspondent

DAYTON, Tenn. — Parking lots in Dayton are getting a face-lift.

Kerry Nabors, chairman of the MainStreet Dayton downtown design committee, told City Council members this week that the group wants to use grant funds to seal and stripe parking lots on Main Street and First Avenue.

It also wants to add wrought-iron fencing and landscape accents, particularly at a large lot on First Avenue adjacent to VolState Internet, she said.

“This is our attempt to freshen up the looks and highlight where parking is,” Nabors said.

The plan also calls for improving signage and providing standardized sign posts for street and stop signs. Because there are pending changes in requirements for street signs and stop signs being mandated by the state Department of Transportation, Nabors said they would wait to purchase those items.

In a related matter, councilmen agreed to remove trees at the intersections of Market Street and First and Second avenues.

Jennie Nevans, who owns buildings at those locations, told the council that the trees, which were planted more than 30 years ago during another downtown improvement project, have grown to the point that their roots are causing structural damage to buildings as well as sidewalks.

City Manager Frank Welch said the city could remove the trees and repair the sidewalks before Nevans uses MainStreet building improvement grants she has received to repair her buildings.

The council also authorized Fire Chief Chuck Suttles to apply for grants to buy a ladder truck and equipment for the fire department. Suttles said he will apply for $600,000 to purchase the truck, and the city would have to provide $30,000 in matching funds.

The second grant would be for about $70,000, with the city required to match with $3,500, he said.

Council members also agreed to borrow about $5 million from Morgan Keegan to finance electric department improvements over the next five years. The loan, at 3.73 percent interest, would be repaid from electric department revenues.

Tom Davis is based in Dayton. Contact him at tsdavis@volstate.net

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