You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Agreement could help downtown parking issues

The city could use income tax revenue from the soon-to-be relocated Clark, Schaefer and Hackett for parking improvements downtown, according to public documents.

The city and the accounting firm recently announced an employee incentive agreement which will move the company to recently renovated Bushnell Building, 14 E. Main St., with parking considerations. City commissioners approved the agreement at Tuesday’s meeting.

The company will generate approximately $86,000 in income tax revenue for the city, assuming employment numbers are met, said city manager Jim Bodenmiller.

“We have every indication they will be, and we’re excited to have them,” Bodenmiller said.

The city plans to use 50 percent of the tax revenue to establish a Downtown Parking Account, which will be used to:

• develop additional parking facilities in downtown, including but not limited to one or more parking garage structures,

• maintaining and expanding current parking facilities in downtown or,

• signs and other parking management fixtures and equipment.

The city will use money from the account to lease or make available 20 spaces for Clark, Schaefer and Hackett, if parking becomes an issue downtown.

The firm has 55 employees with $4.75 million in wages per year, according to public documents. They’ll occupy about 17,000 square feet on the fifth floor of the building.

The company is investing $500,000 into the building and plans to relocate the office this fall. They’ve been located at 2525 N. Limestone St. since 1995.

After its $10 million renovation in 2011, the Bushnell Building will have all but 10,000 square feet occupied. Bushnell Building owner Jim Lagos said parking shouldn’t be a problem in the short term.

However, if tenants Clark, Schaefer and Hackett and CodeBlue continue their planned growth, more parking will be needed.

“We’re in desperate need of parking to expand employment,” Lagos said.

The city is still looking for funding for a $9 million, three-story, 450-space parking garage, expected to be located on the corner of West Columbia Street and North Fountain Ave.

“It continues to be something we work on,” Bodenmiller said.

Lagos said the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, public sector and private sector are all looking for ways to increase parking downtown.

“We’ve all got to work together to get this done,” Lagos said. “It’s all about future growth.”

Center City Association interim director Elaine Morris Roberts believes parking won’t be an issue because of the commitment of local leaders to finding more spaces downtown.

She’s excited about the accounting firm’s move to downtown, which will become a “catalyst” for growth everywhere. She believes it will have an impact on restaurants and retail stores.

“It’s a testament to the growth they think is going to happen downtown,” Roberts said.

Bodenmiller said leaders are still deciding whether the city-owned gravel parking lot on the corner of North Fountain Avenue and West Columbia Street will get a face lift later this year after bids came back higher than expected. The paved lot is expected to create approximately 104 parking spots.

The $1.2 million, two-way street conversion and streetscape improvements on Fountain Avenue is currently under construction downtown.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

PERSPECTIVE: When comedy meets politics, things can happen

Last November I attended a film festival in Colorado Springs and was moved to tears and laughter by a new movie called “Tickling Giants,” which is focused on Dr. Bassem Youssef, an Egyptian heart surgeon who brings satire to Egypt during the Arab Spring. Youssef is known as “The Egyptian Jon Stewart.” His weekly program, &ldquo...
Selfies could be causing more cases of lice in teenagers
Selfies could be causing more cases of lice in teenagers

Many experts say head lice infestations are at their peak during this time of the year as kids head off to summer camp. A Jacksonville, Florida, woman who owns a lice treatment center said it's most common with young children, but she's also seen an increase in cases of head lice in teens. Mandy Ottesen owns Fresh Heads. She said it’s very important...
Puppy rescued from extreme heat in locked car must go back to owner, court says
Puppy rescued from extreme heat in locked car must go back to owner, court says

An 8-week-old puppy that was rescued from extreme heat in a locked car last weekend will be returned to its owner, the Manor Municipal Court ruled Thursday. Manor police, which charged the puppy’s owner with animal cruelty, had hoped to win custody of the dog, named Annabelle, so they could hand her over to an animal shelter. “The...
Worship event on Sunday at Veteran’s Park
Worship event on Sunday at Veteran’s Park

The Springfield Arts Council will host “When Springfield Sings!” at Veteran’s Park at 8 p.m. on Sunday as part of the Summer Arts Series. This event is an opportunity for diverse congregations of Springfield and Clark County to come together to worship God in the center of our city. The Nehemiah Foundation coordinates this event every...
Clark County group considers civil rights leader a hero
Clark County group considers civil rights leader a hero

Dr. Dorothy Irene Height (March 24, 1912-April 20, 2010), the daughter of a building contractor and a nurse, was born in Richmond, Va. She was an American administrator and educator, as well as a civil rights and women’s rights activist. She specifically focused on the issues of African-American women. Dr. Height set an example for African-American...
More Stories