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A Better Plan For Washington Street Property

The longer the plan to create a central garage for the city of Jamestown’s vehicle fleet on Washington Street lingers, the more questions it raises.

We have taken issue in the past with the idea of taking a commerical property off the tax rolls when other sites are just as well suited to house a central garage. It’s hard to believe that there isn’t a better use for prime Washington Street land than a city-owned vehicle maintenance facility — and the lack of interest remains a sad commentary on the attractiveness of vacant property on Jamestown’s commercial corridors.

And, we have to agree with Greg Rabb, city Planning Commission member, on a point he raised before last week’s Planning Commission meeting — if the property isn’t going to be used commercially, shouldn’t enhancements to Jackson-Taylor Park be considered for the site?

After all, there was uproar in the community when a private company wanted to expand on Washington Street several years ago. That particular business is closer to Jackson-Taylor park than the proposed city garage is, but one has to wonder if there isn’t a use for the project that would bring more children and families to Jackson-Taylor Park.

For example, could Jamestown use two splash pads at two of its bigger parks? An expanded splash pad or water amenity that ties into Jackson-Taylor Park’s proximity to the Chadakoin River could make a lot of sense. The proposed garage site could be purposed into a more accessible entrance to the park with new amenities that draw more families to the park.

A city garage is needed. But the more thought one gives to the Washington Street site, the more one can see that there is a better use than a city garage. Building a garage on the site appears to be a missed opportunity for the community — particularly city residents living on the north side.

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