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Work might worsen parking situation on Railroad Street

Finding a parking space convenient to businesses along Railroad Street in Thomson already is a problem. It could even worsen as street improvements are planned for the near future.

Mayor Kenneth Usry and City Administrator Don Powers updated members of the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners about the parking issue on Railroad Street during a commission meeting held at the courthouse last Tuesday night.

The mayor explained that he and Mr. Powers recently met with a group of business owners from that area and that as a result of that meeting, "We've decided to go back to the drawing boards."

Mayor Usry did not discuss what options might be available to city officials concerning the issue at this time.

"We met with a lot of opposition," Mayor Usry said in reference to the meeting that was held a little more than a week ago with business owners to inform them about proposed future parking changes in that area.

Mayor Usry said he wanted to inform commissioners about where city officials stood on the project at this time.

McDuffie County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton agreed with city officials that parking is a major concern of business owners in that area.

"We know we're not going to be able to please everyone, but at the end of the day, we hope we can improve the traffic flow in that area," Mayor Usry said.

Some $800,000 is earmarked for reconfiguration and streetscape improvements along Railroad Street. The funds were made possible through TE grants applied for by city officials through the Georgia Department of Transportation. The City of Thomson had to match it by 20 percent -- making the city's share $200,000 for the project, according to Mr. Powers.

The $1 million project also will allow for major restoration work to be done on the Thomson Depot.

Web posted on Thursday, April 29, 2010

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