MOUNT CARMEL — The city council meeting Monday began with simple question, "Why can't anyone park there?" — but there seemed to be a much more complex answer.
Joe Cavatorta, whose wife, Sharon, owns His & Hers Hair Salon on Market Street asked the council why "no parking" signs had been put up in the gravel lot behind the area where the Hadley building used to sit.
"About five or six weeks ago, another beauty shop shut down and five of the girls who worked there came up to my wife's shop because her shop was big enough to accommodate them," Cavatorta explained. "I asked Rudy if it was possible for anybody to park in the lot where Hadley's used to be."
City Clerk Rudy Witsman had previously told Cavatorta no one could park back there because the garbage truck used the gravel lot to turn around. So Cavatorta talked to Republic Services and discovered they only use the alley on Mondays, when there is more parking available on Market Street anyways.
"The girls started parking back there, and after that time two signs were put up that said "no parking," so they stopped parking back there," Cavatorta said. "I want to know why nobody can park back there when it's not hurting anything or anybody to park back in that area."
Cavatorta continued to argue if parking was available back there, more spaces would be opened in front of businesses uptown.
Mayor Bill Hudson explained that the gravel wasn't supposed to be there in the first place, as the city was hoping to sell the property to a potential developer.
"It was a mistake for the gravel to be put where it was," he said.
Commissioners Eric Ikemire and Justin Dulgar voiced that they "did not have a problem" with people parking there, but commissioner Rod Rodriguez insisted he needed to make sure fire trucks and equipment could make it back there with parked vehicles there in case of an emergency.
The discussion was postponed until commissioners had have an opportunity to look over the area.
Inflatables at city park
Cory and Sydney Carmickle, owners of Backyard Bouncin', also visited the council to voice concerns.
At a recent city council meeting, commissioners discussed the possibility of restricting the private use of inflatables at the city park due to liability issues.
The Carmickle's shared that they were fully insured, and responsible with their equipment to insure the safety of participants. Sydney said the previous owner of Backyard Bouncin' has been managing inflatables in the park for the past five or six years with no problems.
"We follow the regulations very strictly," she said.
City administrators said they appreciated the couple sharing their knowledge, and would take their opinions into account for a future ordinance regarding inflatables in the park.
"We will try to work with you the best way we can," Witsman said.
In other business:
• Mayor Hudson announced applications for the city pool are available at city hall during regular business hours, and are due back by April 10.
• The mayor also announced a city clean-up on Saturday, April 8, at 8 a.m. at the corner of Second and Market streets and encouraged clubs and other organizations to attend and help. Bags will be available, but volunteers will need to bring their own gloves.