LAWRENCE COUNTY Government center to add another parking lot

A survey revealed residents want countywide police and fire protection.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Some much-needed parking is coming to Lawrence County Government Center.
Commissioners agreed Tuesday to pay $1,000 to AGX Inc. of Wexford, Pa., to write specifications for asbestos removal from the old county jail, which is now vacant. The asbestos will be removed and the jail demolished to create another parking lot.
Commissioner Roger DeCarbo said that once the building is demolished, reserved parking spots in the main lot for county officials may be moved to that area. That would free spots in the lot near the government center for short-term visitor parking.
Lack of parking at the government center is a frequent complaint at commissioners' meetings.
Other potential lots: DeCarbo said they are considering creating parking in several other areas. One, a vacant county-owned lot at Court and Walnut streets, is being considered for juror parking.
DeCarbo said there are concerns once a fourth judge takes office next year there will not be enough space for people called to jury duty. There are only three judges now, but a fourth judgeship was created last year by the state legislature.
DeCarbo said they are also considering creating on-street parking near the planned Courthouse Memorial Park.
Original plans called for closing a portion of Countyline Street for a picnic area, but the lack of parking near the government center caused them to rethink the idea. Making that section of Countyline Street one-way and adding street parking is being considered instead.
Education issues: Meanwhile, a countywide survey indicates expanding education opportunities is important to some residents.
Commissioner Brian Burick said the survey sent to all county residents in March revealed that education and creating countywide police and fire protection agencies are important.
However, of the nearly 20,000 surveys sent, 120 residents responded.
Still, Burick said, the answers reflect similar ones given by local officials at a recent meeting.
Residents were asked to rate the importance of everything from education and affordable housing to the need for a countywide transit system and expanding public sewage.
Burick said the survey was meant to give local officials ideas for future projects.

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