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LOCKPORT – The Common Council made its choice of a replacement plan for the downtown parking ramp Wednesday.

The Council chose a plan to tear down the existing five-story ramp and replace it with a 58-space surface lot at Main and Pine streets.

The only access driveway would be onto Pine Street.

However, a concrete staircase leading from the Main Street sidewalk to the parking area would be included.

Michael T. Marino, project manager for Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, said three handicapped-access parking spaces could be cut into the sidewalk in front of what is now the Main Street entrance to the ramp.

All four alternatives that Marino presented to the Council included an estimated $650,000 to demolish the ramp, which has been closed for six years because of crumbling concrete.

Marino’s $1.41 million estimate for the work did not include the staircase, which he estimated might add $60,000 to $75,000 to the cost.

The tentative work schedule envisions a contract award in mid-February and completion of all work by the end of June.

The other options cost more and provided less parking.

“If we did [Option D] and added a staircase, we’d get the most parking for the least cost,” said Alderwoman Anne E. McCaffrey, R-2nd Ward.

The other options included ramps from Main Street that Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano feared would be catnip for skateboarders. The only option that included a driveway onto Main Street instead of Pine was vetoed by Mayor Michael W. Tucker as likely to cause traffic congestion. Prices for the three rejected choices ranged from $1.5 million to $1.61 million.

“This parking lot will have no overnight parking,” Tucker said.

On another topic, the aldermen agreed to have the city take back the Ulrich City Centre parking lot from owner David L. Ulrich because of old dry-cleaning chemicals found beneath the pavement this summer.

The discovery caused Darrel R. Lloyd, the would-be buyer, to back out of the deal. Lloyd, who worked for KLW, the Amherst appraisal firm that worked on the city’s reassessment program, left that company in July.

Ottaviano said testing has shown the old chemicals are well buried and pose no health threat.

The Council also voted to sell a 70-by-121-foot piece of the city’s Walnut Street parking lot to neighboring restaurateur Michael Molinaro for $1,000.

Molinaro’s plans an expansion project that could add five or six new jobs, Tucker said.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com