Westerville City Council is considering purchasing property behind City Hall, 21 S. State St., to allow for the expansion of the city-owned parking lot.

Westerville City Council is considering purchasing property behind City Hall, 21 S. State St., to allow for the expansion of the city-owned parking lot.

The city would pay $103,600 for 0.24 acres at 40 W. Park St. The legislation heard by council April 17 would appropriate $105,000 for the purchase to cover closing costs and title fees.

"One issue we tend to hear frequently about is parking availability in the Uptown area," City Manager Dave Collinsworth said.

Collinsworth said the city would look to act immediately on the purchase after the council's scheduled vote May 15; however, council Chairman Mike Heyeck requested a vote be held at council's next meeting, set Tuesday, May 1, so the purchase and subsequent construction of the parking lot would take place more quickly.

Also at council's April 17 meeting, council members and city staff discussed how to cover additional costs for the construction of the city's new salt barn, which is part of an overhaul of the city's service department facility at 350 Park Meadow Road.

The cost for the pre-engineered building came in $50,000 higher than the city's $450,000 estimate for the project.

The city could cover that cost with a $50,000 variance within the capital-improvement fund, using money left over from the cost of expanding the Uptown parking lot, Collinsworth said.

Council chose not to vote on a proposed reallocation of funds, asking city staff to come up with alternatives to covering the additional costs.

"The only other alternative other than utilizing this resource would be from an operating account," Collinsworth said.

Using operating funds for the project would require legislative action, he said.

Collinsworth said city staffers would examine other alternative sources of funding and bring the matter before council May 1.