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Bristol, Va., council hears parking proposal


Structured Parking Solutions' Director of Business Development Greg Darden shows examples of his company's work during a presentation to the Bristol, Va. City Council on Thursday. (Photo by David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier)
January 30, 2013
Check out this article BY DAVID MCGEE | BRISTOL HERALD COURIER
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 2:28 pm | Updated: 6:44 pm, Thu Jan 24, 2013.

BRISTOL, Va. — City leaders are expected to weigh the merits of a downtown parking structure at a meeting next month.

Members of the City Council reached that consensus Thursday following a two-hour work session that included a presentation by officials of Structured Parking Solutions of Pensacola, Fla. Last year, the company prepared and submitted an unsolicited proposal after learning that the city previously commissioned a parking study.

Working with BurWil Construction of Bristol, Tenn., architect Peyton Boyd and other area professionals, the firm is asking the city to allow it to proceed by submitting a formal proposal to finance and build a parking structure that could hold as many as 700 vehicles.

"There is no commitment on the city's part to any of these [design and study] costs. At the end of this exercise, the only thing you [council] will have committed to is giving them the exclusive right to present something to you," City Manager Dewey Cashwell told the council. "If you choose — at the end of this process — not to go forward, you have no obligation."

Council members seemed generally amenable to discussing the question at one of its two February meetings.

"I think it's something, with the country music museum coming in and all the other good things going on in our city, that this [parking] is something we need to look at very close," Mayor Jim Steele said.

Under the Structured Parking Solutions plan, the company wants to finance and build one or more parking structures and then regain its investment through user fees that could include charging for parking along State Street, according to Greg Darden, the firm's director of business development.

"We encourage the city to establish a pay-to-park system for all of its downtown parking," Darden said. "If you don't charge to park in the entire system, people will circle the free parking until the tires fall off their cars."

In addition, Darden said, the city would likely need the revenue from the on-street parking spaces to offset the cost of a structure.

Councilman Don Ashley disagreed, saying, "I just don't see why a parking structure by itself will not pay its own way."

A parking structure could be self-sufficient, Darden said, if the city charges a high enough rate or if the city leased space to the Birthplace of Country Music for the traffic expected at its museum, which is scheduled to open in August 2014 and a hotel project currently being discussed for the Executive Plaza building.

A modest structure would cost an average $120 per space per month to develop, build, finance and operate, Darden told the council. Using that formula, a parking system with a 200-space structure would need to generate about $24,000 per month or about $288,000 annually.

Council also discussed seeking involvement from Bristol, Tenn., but leaders on that side of town have maintained no interest in funding a parking structure or charging for parking.

Thursday's presentation included three potential sites:
•The pay lot at the corner of State, Stoneman Family Way and Goode Street that the city shares revenues with the Bristol Public Library
•The large municipal lot at the corner of State, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Cumberland Street near the city courthouse; and
•A lot at the corner of Cumberland and Moore streets near Cumberland Square Park.

Because of the last site's proximity to the future music museum and near the center of downtown, it received the most discussion.

Christina Blevins, executive director of downtown development group Believe in Bristol, attended the work session. She's said some property and business owners may not like all parts of the plan.

"We have a lot of talking to do on all aspects but it's good we're in this position to move forward," Blevins said. "The need is there. We've addressed that. For further development of downtown, we have to have parking."

dmcgee@bristolnews.com

(276) 645-2532

Downtown Bristol Blog

Buechner Institute Lecture by Michael Perry at the Bristol Public Library

February 04, 2013
One of the more pressing concerns of our time is the relationship between faith and culture. The Buechner Institute at King was founded in 2008 to address this vital issue while also paying tribute to the American writer and Presbyterian minister, Frederick Buechner. Michael John Perry specializes in Constitutional Law and Human Rights. He is the author of 11 books and more than 75 articles and essays. His most recent book is The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy: The Constitution, the Courts, and Human Rights, published in 2010. Perry began his teaching career at the Ohio State University College of Law. Since 2003, Perry has held the distinguished Robert W. Woodruff University Chair at Emory University, where he teaches law. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, he did his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University and studied law at Columbia University. In 1999, Perry was awarded an LL.D. (honoris causa) by St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. Michael Perry will be speaking at the Bristol Public Library on February 4 at 7pm.

Symphony of the Mountains presents CATCH A RISING STAR at the Paramount Center for the Arts

February 02, 2013
The 2012 Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition winner, Julliard student and Abingdon native Zachary Hughes will perform with Symphony of the Mountains as the Symphony makes its much anticipated return to the Paramount Center for the Arts. Repertoire will include Gioacchino Rossini’s “L’Italiana in Algeri: Overture,” Mozart’s “Piano Concert No. 27, K. 595, B-flat major” and Mendelssohn’s “Symphony No. 3, The Scottish.”The show is on Saturday, February 2 at 7:30pm; tickets are $30 and available at www.symphonyofthemountains.org/events.

Soulful Weekends at Shelbee's Vintage Cafe and Premiere Catering

February 02, 2013
Shelbee's Vintage Cafe will be offering Soulful Weekends on the 1st and 3rd weekend of each month. We will offer: collard greens, yams, mac n cheese, beans, meat options will change weekly, banana pudding, cobblers and much more! This weekend the Soulful Weekend will be on Saturday, February 2, 1-6p.m. and Sunday, February 3, 11 until the food is GONE. FIRST COME FIRST SERVED!
Click here to read more.

Night Life at KP Duty in February

February 01, 2013
Come enjoy Night Life at KP Duty on State Street! Wednesdays 1/2 off on selected wines. Every Friday in February, you can enjoy 75 cent oysters, 50 cent shrimps, $2 drafts, and $5 martinis! For more information, call 423-764-3889.

V-Day Sale at the Purple Loon, Feb. 1-14

February 01, 2013
V-Day Sale at The Purple Loon! Starting February 1st all beads and finished jewelry will be 10% off till Valentine's Day. This goes toward custom orders as well. Don't wait on someone else to do it for you. Get yourself something pretty!

Final Days of Sale at William King Clothiers

January 31, 2013
William King Clothiers — Last few days to get great buys at their big sale! Sale ends Saturday! William King Clothiers, 534 State Street, Bristol, TN. Hours: Thu- Fri 9am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-2pm.

A reminder to vote for venues, businesses and events in Downtown Bristol in the Best of Virginia 2013 Readers' Survey — Deadline 11:59p.m. on January 31st!

January 30, 2013
The Best of Virginia 2013 Readers’ Survey is a great opportunity for us to vote for Bristol’s Best, and perhaps even win in various categories and appear in the May issue of Virginia Living, which celebrates Virginia’s Best.Click on this link http://www.virginialiving.com/best-of-virginia/ballot to vote, and then click on the icon for the Southwestern part of Virginia (and remember when voting that the businesses, venues and events should be specifically in Bristol, VA). When voting for your “bests,” don’t forget to include the city where the event, person, business or venue is located.
Click here to read more.

Sweets for the Sweet Fundraiser for Healing Hands Health Center — THANK YOU BLACKBIRD BAKERY!

January 30, 2013
Nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" like a delicious cupcake, and that cupcake tastes even sweeter when it helps uninsured workers access charitable health care. Healing Hands Health Center is accepting cupcake orders for its third annual Sweets for the Sweet fundraiser.
Click here to read more.

City of Bristol, Tennessee's Paper Windows Session 10 Winners Announced


Music on the Sidewalk by Mandy Barker
January 30, 2013
The judges of the city’s Paper Windows Project have announced the winners of Session 10. During this session photographers were to show what the “Sound of Music” meant in their mind’s eye. Project Coordinator, Lisa Beckner stated, “We were certain we would get lots of concert photos, with all the music that goes on in Downtown Bristol it was a given. However, we were surprised to get some of the photos that actually had nothing to do with music in the way one would expect and those shots were equally beautiful. It was more about music we hear in nature or see rather than hear. It was a wonderful concept.”
Click here to read more.

Intermediate Japalachian Bonsai Workshop at blowfish emporium

January 30, 2013
Discover the Art of Bonsai! Intermediate Japalachian Bonsai Workshop at blowfish emporium on Wednesday, January 30,6-8pm. Cost is $65 and you can BYOB! Take home a bonsai tree that YOU have styled! This class is a set up from the beginners workshop — using larger scale trees and adding more techniques. You will get: Large Bonsai Plant, Bonsai Pot, Bonsai Soil, Screen, Wiring, Chop Stick, Bonsai Bandanas, and step-by-step personal instruction. If you have them, bring your own garden shears, pruners, and gloves... or borrow ours. *You must register for this workshop in advance so give blowfish a ring on 276-644-1428.

Set up a Valentine Serenade from the Bristol, VA Parks and Rec Department!

January 30, 2013
Cupid and the Bristol, VA Parks & Rec Department have proudly lined up singing duet teams to deliver that special someone a melody of love and / or appreciation on Thursday, February 14! Along with their song, a rose and card will be presented at each visit. Hours of the event are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on February 14, and cost is $17 per visit. To request a serenade, call 276-645-PARK. Our department has been delivering serenades for over 25 years!

BVU Leads with 1 Gig Service

January 30, 2013
BVU Authority expresses full support of FCC Chairman Genachowski’s challenge and encouragement that every state should have at least one Internet Service Provider offering 1 Gig service by 2015. Chairman Genachowski’s challenge, dubbed the “Gigabit City Challenge” was issued on January 18. He noted that 42 communities in 14 states have already achieved this important goal. “It is important to have a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness,” explained Genachowski.
Click here to read more.

Gigabit Internet Available to Every Business and Home in Bristol, TN

January 30, 2013
Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES), an electric utility that also provides Internet, telephone and cable television services in East Tennessee, is now offering one gigabit per second Internet service to every business and every home in their 280-square-mile service area. This makes BTES one of only a few offering Internet services at this speed. BTES’ ultra high-speed fiber optic connections works in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent’s gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology to offer one gigabit Internet speeds which offers almost unlimited possibilities. This supports BTES’ emphasis on economic development, advanced educational tools and sustainability by providing one of the fastest, most cost effective and reliable data services offered in the country. This helps to attract businesses to the Bristol area, supports the need for high speed data services in our education system and helps BTES to remain a sustainable organization.
Click here to read more.

Upcoming Events

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Weekend Passes on Sale for $45

January 01 - May 31, 2013

January Storytime, Various Youth Activities, and the Nevermore Book Club at the Bristol Public Library

January 01 - 31, 2013

606 State Street Jammers at 606 State Street Gallery in January

January 01 - 31, 2013

606 State Street Gallery: January Featured Artist is Linda Hamilton & Student Featured Artist is Lurah Lowry

January 01 - 31, 2013

Virgie R. Fleenor Art Gallery to Feature Twin City Photo Club in Exhibit in January & February

January 03 - February 27, 2013

Sweets for the Sweet Fundraiser for Healing Hands Health Center

January 23 - February 11, 2013

Set up a Valentine Serenade from the Bristol, VA Parks and Rec Department!

January 28 - February 13, 2013

Youth Karate Classes at Japan Karate-Do on State Street

January 29 - March 05, 2013

Intermediate Japalachian Bonsai Workshop at blowfish emporium

January 30, 2013

Final Days of Sale at William King Clothiers

January 31 - February 02, 2013

Andy Crawford at O'Mainnin's Pub

January 31, 2013

606 State Street Gallery presents February's Featured Student Artist: Kandee Wallace

February 01 - 28, 2013

Night Life at KP Duty in February

February 01 - 27, 2013

V-Day Sale at The Purple Loon

February 01 - 14, 2013

The Sound Drivers at Machiavelli's

February 01, 2013

Honey Badgers at State Line Bar & Grille

February 01, 2013

Beer Tasting at Inari Wines

February 01, 2013

Soulful Weekends at Shelbee's Vintage Cafe and Premiere Catering

February 02 - 03, 2013

Wine Tasting at Inari Wines

February 02, 2013

Symphony of the Mountains presents CATCH A RISING STAR at the Paramount Center for the Arts

February 02, 2013

Buechner Institute Lecture by Michael Perry at the Bristol Public Library

February 04, 2013

Decker & Skinner at the Pickin' Porch at the Foundation Event Facility

February 04, 2013

HTV's Spotlight on Music at CityMug

February 07, 2013

Beaver Creek Storytellers at 606 State Street Gallery

February 07, 2013

Sweetheart Market at 524 State Street

February 08 - 09, 2013

Beth Snapp at Machiavelli's

February 08, 2013

Foxtrot Ballroom Class at the Bristol Ballet

February 08, 2013

Beer Tasting at Inari Wines

February 08, 2013

Tyger! Tyger! Gallery Bash at Benjamin Walls Gallery

February 09, 2013

Wine Tasting at Inari Wines

February 09, 2013

Father and Daughter Dance at Bristol Ballet

February 10, 2013

BHA presents The History of Southern Barbecue by Fred Sauceman at the Bristol Public Library

February 11, 2013

606 State Street Jammers at 606 State Street Gallery

February 11, 2013

Pottery Class at One of a Kind Gallery

February 12 - 13, 2013

Daily Planning Gone Digital at CityMac

February 12, 2013

The Shifters at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 13, 2013

The StereoFidelics at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 14, 2013

Phil Vassar Performing on Valentine's Day at the Paramount

February 14, 2013

10% Discount at Machiavelli's or 620 State for attendees of Phil Vassar concert at Paramount!

February 14, 2013

The StereoFidelics at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 14, 2013

Phil Vassar and High Valley to Appear at Marsh Blood Drive

February 14, 2013

Beer Tasting at Inari Wines

February 15, 2013

More Upcoming Events »