City commission meets in special session
The Velva City Commission met in a brief special session on Monday night, Oct. 25. The handful of issues at hand included parking problems for the Velva Housing Authority, the possibility of an ice skating rink on Main Street, the demolition permit for the school and the annexation reading.
Representatives of the VHA were on hand to discuss problems with their parking lot and keeping it in compliance with ADA standards. The need to expand the handicapped parking from one space to two spaces means the parking lot will no longer have the required 12 spaces.
The Housing Authority was hoping to get permission from the council to designate two spaces on the street in front of the apartment building, complete with outlet posts in the boulevard so residents can plug their vehicles in during the winter. VHA board member Linda Beall noted that when the apartment buildings were constructed, the lots were in ADA compliance, but the rules have changed, and now the handicapped parking spots have to be larger and the dumpster has to remain where it is, according to USDA regulations.
The commissioners asked some questions about compliance of parking on the street, and Beall said it wouldn’t be the handicapped parking on the street, just regular parking.
Mayor Ken Fox asked about the possibility of taking the diagonal ends on the parking lot and straightening it out, which could add some room.
Commissioner Scott Blotter said he wasn’t wild about the idea of having a designated parking spot on a public street, and Fox worried about setting a precedent for anyone wanting to park in front of their house and installing an outlet post.
Commissioner Paul Thomas said he believed they would have to recraft some ordinances to make permanent parking spots on the street.
In the end, the commissioners asked the VHA to investigate the possibility of expanding their current parking lot to the lot lines and come back to the next commission meeting.
In other business, Commissioner JD Larson has been investigating the possibility of putting in an ice skating rink in the two southern lots next to Velva Drug. Larson said his reasoning for the location was threefold: to enhance Main Street business, to provide a daylight activity for children, and to provide some part-time jobs for teenagers.
Several representatives from Main Street businesses were on hand, however, and expressed concerns about the safety and convenience of putting such a facility on Main Street.