Duluth is currently advertising for a contractor to pave the parking lot behind Pure Taqueria, Red Clay Theatre and the Street Smarts building. The lighting changes require an outside contractor to work with the public works department to install conduit, additional poles and lighting prior to paving the lot.
As a result, the Duluth City Council recently approved $25,000 in unallocated 2009 SPLOST parking facilities funds be added to the downtown parking budget for the lighting.
Duluth entered into an updated lease agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway Company earlier this year for public parking behind the businesses and in the railroad right-of-way. The annual lease amount increased from $2,500 to $5,000. The new lease allows the city to resurface and stripe the parking area.
The agreement for approximately one acre of land requires a 25-foot set-back from the railroad tracks. Norfolk Southern retains the right to approve modifications, alterations or improvements to the lot. An extensive part of the contract prohibits the city from storage or hazardous materials near the railway.