Guilford County doesn’t have good luck with its parking decks and that bad luck continued this week when the Guilford County commissioners were informed that the county-owned underground parking deck beneath the Phill G. McDonald Plaza in downtown Greensboro is in need of an estimated $9 million in repairs.
Guilford County Facilities Director Dan Durham said this week that the need to repair the deck that serves the Old Guilford County Court House stems largely from the age of the structure and damage from “water intrusion” over the years.
Several county officials said the $9-million price tag is only a preliminary estimate and the precise cost won’t be known until the deck is examined by specialists.
Currently, there is scaffolding in the deck as some repairs are already being made; however, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The county is going to have to come up with $9 million or so to get the major repairs done.
That’s definitely not something the commissioners want to hear right now since the board is currently in the process of trying to find money to fund more than $80 million of capital projects that have been in the works for a long time.
Commissioner Jeff Phillips said the parking deck repair issue “sort of came out of left field.”
He said the commissioners – who use the deck for parking – have noticed the repair work at the garage entrance over the past few weeks, but he added that he didn’t know the problems were much bigger than that until the matter was brought to the board’s attention last week.
Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Alan Branson and Commissioner Skip Alston said the news also hit them out of the blue and it’s not clear where the funds will come from.
Guilford County recently wrapped up a major multi-year repair job in High Point on the large county-owned parking deck that serves the High Point Guilford County Courthouse as well as the rest of that governmental complex.
Branson, who drives a giant pickup truck to the commissioners meetings and who as chairman has the best parking place in the entire underground deck, said he’s been having a great deal of trouble getting in and out of the deck with the repair work now being done. Branson also has a Corvette convertible and, when asked why he didn’t drive that car to the meetings instead, he said he’d considered it but decided against it. He said that, recently, when the weather was very nice he thought about putting the top down and driving the car to a meeting, but he added that there was a controversial zoning decision on the agenda that night and he didn’t want any unhappy residents dumping garbage in his Corvette.
This most certainly did not come out of left field Mr. Phillips. In fact it harkens back to the days of Facilities Director Fred Jones, but no one listened or cared back then. So, like many pay now or pay later issues that get presented to the board, this one just hasn’t been the squeeky wheel with enough political glitter sprinkled on it in the moment.
Political Glitter= Any item or issue that is popular among the constituents, particularly those who call frequently, donate to campaigns, or have some other form of political clout that may bring gain or attention to a politician.