St. Charles library lot may soon be available for public parking

The city of St. Charles and the St. Charles Public Library are working on a shared parking agreement that would allow the library lot to be used for public parking during off hours on Fridays and Saturdays.

Per the agreement, the library’s 190-space parking lot at 1 S. Sixth Ave. would be available for public parking from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays.

The city recently conducted a parking study to assess the current parking space inventory and recommend changes to improve the parking experience for visitors and residents.

The study reported that about 80% of downtown parking spaces are occupied on weekends, close to what is considered practical capacity or 85%.

One of the study’s suggestions for future improvements was to expand the parking supply by entering into shared parking agreements with some of the several downtown property owners to allow the use of privately owned lots as public parking during designated times.

The St. Charles Planning and Development Committee recommended approval of the shared parking agreement with the library on Monday.

The three-year agreement will have to be approved by the boards of each entity, and both would have the right to terminate at any time with 90 days’ notice.

Per the agreement, the city would pay the library 7% of all maintenance costs related to snow removal, pavement patching, sealing, and marking in the public parking area. Reimbursement costs are expected to be about $2,000 per year.

The city would also be responsible for installing and maintaining any additional signage.

The agreement is expected to go before the library board next month for possible approval before returning to the city council for possible final approval.

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