City and church: Let’s make a deal
The city and Ormond Beach Riverside Church recently completed a deal seen by both sides as being mutually beneficial.
The agreement was finalized earlier this month as the city made a final payment of $48,000 for land to the west of the church. The city had already made a payment, for a final cost of $68,000.
A public parking lot will be constructed in the area west of the church, where the thrift store now stands.
“People can even park there to see the Fourth of July fireworks.”
MAYOR ED KELLEY, on new public parking
Mayor Ed Kelley said it will benefit the church, the Anderson-Price Building next door and the general public in providing 50 spaces.
“People can even park there to see the Fourth of July fireworks,” he said.
Pastor Michael Carruthers agreed it’s a deal that benefits all involved, saying it removes a safety hazard and provides the church with funds for needed repairs.
In recent years, church members had noticed a dangerous situation, with people driving through the church thrift store parking lot to get to the Anderson-Price Building while people were unloading merchandise for the store.
“We wanted to overcome the safety hazard,” Carruthers said.
The building that houses the thrift store will be torn down to make way for the parking lot. Carruthers said the thrift store has been successful for many years, but is aging and in need of repairs. It will be relocated, possibly in a church classroom.
Carruthers said he met with Kelley in the parking and presented his idea for the transaction. He also pointed out “Yankee Lane,” a strip of undeveloped land that provides access to New Britain Avenue.
“It was raining but the mayor said he wanted to see what I was talking about,” Carruthers said.
The two men agreed it would be mutually beneficial, and the mayor worked with city staff to develop a proposal for the City Commission, which gave final approval on March 1.
It took several months for the deal to be worked out in the city legal department.
“The mayor kept apologizing that it took so long,” he said.
The church is part of Ormond Beach history, having been incorporated in 1882 on that site. The present building was constructed in 1963.
Carruthers said the check from the city will allow the church to do some needed repairs.
The public parking lot is months away from being started, the mayor said, because a lot of planning must be done. Also, the future of Yankee Lane is still uncertain as to how or when it would be developed .
Construction costs for the parking lot are preliminarily estimated at $160,000 by the city and would be funded by taxes collected in the Community Redevelopment Area.