March 5, 2002
Town of Dandridge
P.O. Box 249
Dandridge, Tennessee 37725
You asked if I could look at the parking situation in downtown Dandridge and come up with some suggestions.
It appears that additional parking is needed in the downtown area. This is the result of growth in the community and the location of the County courthouse in the center of the downtown. Thus it appears that a partnership with the County to develop new parking would be in order.
Keeping the County courthouse downtown is a real win-win situation for both the Town and the County. It provides an “anchor” for the downtown and brings people to the area. And for the County it provides access to downtown businesses for County employees and customers. In addition there are many businesses which have located adjacent to the courthouse because they do business with the County. So keeping this “partnership” intact is very important.
From the data you gave me it appears as though about 237 parking spaces are available. 61 of these are provided by the County and 176 by the City. The County needs about 82 spaces for employees and County vehicles. The City averages about 94 spaces used each day for business owners. This means that only about 50 spaces are available for customers of both downtown businesses and the County courthouse, and this is not enough.
You have also mentioned that there is a property which could be purchased and developed as a parking lot, that the County has budgeted some money for this purpose, but that the Town would be unable to contribute financially at this time. But instead of a financial commitment here are some contributions which the Town could provide and which could possibly match the County’s financial contribution:
Town crews could do all of the site work with Town equipment
Town crews could haul the fill and do the grading
Town crews could do all backhoe work including installation of the tile
Town crews could haul and distribute the rock
The Town could contribute (in a small way) financially by purchasing from the County some of the rock and asphalt
In addition to the above the Town could make a long-term commitment to maintenance of the parking lot by:
Providing snow removal
Providing salting during icy conditions
Provide clean-up and street sweeping services
Be responsible for striping and re-striping as needed
Possibly be responsible for re-paving at some point in the future
Hopefully these commitments could match what the County needs to do financially and would make the parking lot a viable project at this time, especially if the Town were to work with County crews to do the paving itself.
I hope these suggestions help move this important project forward. If I can provide any further assistance as you work toward this end please feel free to call.
Municipal Management Consultant