The village of Riverside on Feb. 20 nailed down the final piece to the puzzle for constructing a green parking lot at 61-63 E. Burlington Street when trustees voted 5 to 0 to buy a strip of land that abuts the property from the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad.
Trustees voted to pay the railroad $28,000 for the roughly 36-by-103 foot, 3,600-square-foot piece of property immediately behind the two vacant lots at 61-63 E. Burlington St. The money for the purchase will come from the parking lot fund, which includes revenue from the commuter parking lots operated by the village.
Acquisition of the land will allow the village to add another 10 parking spaces to the lot, which will be built this summer using grant money from the Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant program.
Riverside received $502,663 from the grant program in 2011 to construct the parking lot and two green alleys that run between Harlem Avenue and Selborne Road from York to Kent Roads.
The Riverside Plan Commission unanimously approved the site plan of the green parking lot back in December. In all, the lot will have 28 spaces. All but the former railroad property will be constructed of permeable pavers.
Plans call for the western border of the lot to have a rain garden to collect storm water. The lot will also be shaded by several trees. Money for lighting is not included in the grant and will have to be funded by another source of revenue in the future.
Village Manager Peter Scalera said that the village’s plan is awaiting approval from the state. After that, the alley and parking lot projects will be put out to bid.
“The plan is for this to be online by the end of summer,” said Scalera.
The lot is not intended as a commuter lot, but rather for patrons of businesses in the downtown area. The lot will be free and time limits will be set to keep commuters from using the lot, said Scalera.