Earlier this month, Lauderdale County received approval to expand its non-garbage landfill to take construction waste from Florence and Rogersville. Demolition of a former Florence K-Mart store, buildings on the old Coffee High School campus, and an apartment complex at UNA had all been placed on hold. We have to ask why?
Companies that demolish large structures are usually responsible for clearing the site of debris. What if the expansion hadn't been approved? Was there no other site prepared to take this debris?
In the case of the old Married Students Apartments, as they were originally dubbed, the contractor had indicated the site would be cleared and a new parking lot finished by the start of the Spring semester. Now UNA says it may be mid-semester before the new lot of 200 spaces opens.
UNA also says that's okay. Remember, students, you can park on residential streets.
The University of North Alabama wants to grow, as in enrollment growth. Presumably, the university now has the dorm pace to accommodate this growth, but what about parking? UNA has already indicated that the 200 new spaces on Circular Road won't be enough to provide adequate parking for the current enrollment. We realize UNA doesn't want to construct parking spaces for students who may never come, but surely our local university wants to be a good neighbor and provide for those already on campus?
Perhaps UNA needs to invest in a parking survey. The City of Florence's survey turned out to be well worth the money. Oh, wait, no it didn't. At least we'll now have a purple and gold parking deck...won't we?
Could painted parking meters be a partial answer to Florence's parking woes? Paint two or three on each block, then charge a little extra to park in those spaces. Drawbacks? They would probably need frequent touch-ups It's worked for other cities, why not here in the Shoals?