Stanford votes to sell public parking garage

Published 10:59 am Thursday, April 11, 2019

Portion closed due to possibility of collapse

STANFORD – With the walls of the right side of the city’s public parking garage already buckling, and about $50,000 or more in cost expected for repairs, the Stanford City Council voted last week to consider selling the garage.

Stanford Fire Chief Scott Maples updated the council on the condition of the building during the city’s regularly scheduled April 4 meeting.

“As you come into the garage, the right-hand side, the right walls, are in position of collapse,” Maples said. “…The whole building is not going to collapse. It’s the walls in between.”

Maples said there are four concrete piers, which the steel rafters sit on, and they are in fair condition. But the walls in between the brick that are the problem.

“They are bulging out and the way they are bulging, the walls might fall tonight, they might fall in a year, two years, we don’t know,” he said. “My recommendation is to close that side of the parking garage. It is a risk to cars that park that or anyone who’s walking through there, if those walls were to bulge out.”

Maples said the city is looking at a major expense to fix the walls alone.

“You’re looking at a minimum of $50,000 to $75,000 just to get those walls safe,” he said. “The roof is leaking. It is leaking in several different places. Structurally those walls are not safe.”

Maples said within the next year, the walls on the other side will likely need the same repairs as well.

Mayor Scottie Ernst opened the floor to discussion about possibly selling the city garage.

“My thought is to sell it. That’s my opinion, you all can voice your opinion,” Ernst said. “We do not have an offer. We’ll have to take bids and surplus it. It can be sold. It has to be kept a public entity or it cannot be torn down.”

Council member Dalton Miller asked about the park in front of the garage, which the city often uses for public ceremonies, such as Police Memorial Day.

“Would that be maintained there or would that be moved? Could we put stipulations if someone’s buying it on that?” Miller asked.

City Attorney John Hackley said the city could put a stipulation that the space continue to be used and maintained as it is.

Maples said even if the property transfers hands, the repairs will have to be made or he will continue to close the building in places where it is unsafe to the public.

“There are hazards there and they are going to have to fix it,” he said.

Naren James, City Council member, said he’s in favor of selling the building.

The council could not declare the garage as surplus property Thursday night, because it requires a separate resolution, but they did vote to sell the parking garage.

The vote was unanimous.