Jasper County's parking lot on the southeast corner of the Carthage Square will get a much-needed facelift in the next few months.

Jasper County's parking lot on the southeast corner of the Carthage Square will get a much-needed facelift in the next few months.
The county's lot on Grant Street between Fourth and Fifth Street will be the subject of a $126,590 upgrade Jasper County Presiding Commissioner John Bartosh says he hopes will be done some time in August or September.
G&G Construction, Carthage, was the winning bidder for the project. The winning bid came in lower than the $135,000 cost estimated by the county's engineer.
Eastern District Commissioner Darieus Adams said the engineer was able to design the lot to create 47 parking spots, including two for handicapped parking in the corner closest to the Courthouse and four for motorcycles at the south end of the lot.
By making it one way and angling the parking we were able to make more spots,” Adams said. “Traffic will go in one direction, you drive in one entrance and drive out the other one. You will drive in from Fifth Street and exit on to Grant Street.”
The contractor will smooth out the hump in the lot close to Fifth Street and finish it in concrete or asphalt.
Bartosh said the emphasis is to provide parking for Courthouse employees, although the county won't put any official limits on who can park there.
“We would like it to be for county employees, but we're not going to put limits on the parking,” Bartosh said. “The taxpayers in Jasper County own everything the county owns, it's their's, so they can use it and we're not going to exclude anyone, but hopefully during the work day, everyone in the Courthouse has to be here by 8 a.m. so courthouse employees should fill it up. Parking won't be limited as far as time.”
Bartosh said the project will include some landscaping at the corner of Fourth and Grant, and an addition paid for with the Commissioners' personal money.
“The Commissioners are spending our own money and we're going to put a rock wall, like what's around the courthouse here, across the front and down the side to the parking lot exit,” Bartosh said. “We'll use our personal money, Baucom Construction is going to help us and we're going to make it look nice. We're actively looking for stone to match the wall around the Courthouse, and hopefully we'll get some donations to help us.”

Other parking news
In other parking news on the Carthage Square, the Carthage City Council heard on first reading today a council bill to designate three parking spots on the east side of the Courthouse for county use and exempt them from city rules.
The move will put into the city code an arrangement that has existed for years. Three spots are already designated as reserved and are commonly used by the Sheriff's Office prisoner transport van bring jail inmates to the Courthouse for hearings.
Council Bill 18-29 won't specify what the county can use the spots for, it simply designates the spots already marked “Reserved” for “the exclusive use of the county.”
“No private motor vehicle shall be parked therein on any weekday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.,” the bill says. “These spaces shall be removed from the areas of restricted parking as specified in section 23-424 of the Code of Carthage.”
The council will take a final vote on the measure at its regular June 26 meeting.