LOCKPORT – The Common Council decided Wednesday to change the plan for a new downtown parking lot.

The city will remove a 40-step staircase down to the lot from Main Street and instead purchase enough fill to bring the lot to street level.

An estimated $190,000 will be added to the cost of the project because of the change, which also will reduce the amount of parking available in the lot by as many as 17 spaces.

But Mayor Michael W. Tucker said it will enhance the safety and usability of the surface lot slated to replace the downtown parking ramp at Main and Pine streets, which is to be demolished.

The Council had chosen a $1.41 million option Dec. 19, which included the cost of tearing down the closed ramp. It included 58 spaces in the lot and three handicapped spaces on the street.

The Council had decided to place the entrance on Pine to avoid traffic congestion on Main, but Wednesday it reversed the decision and went for a driveway on Main, with no entrance on Pine.

Tucker said he talked Wednesday with the two owners of neighboring businesses, George Fritz of Mills Jewelers and David L. Ulrich of Ulrich Development Co. Neither favored the idea of constructing a staircase from Main down to the parking lot.

In other matters, the Council approved an application for a $20,000 state grant, committing $5,000 of the city’s own money, to fund a more detailed investigation of the properties in the planned historic preservation district along Locust and High streets.

The Council also agreed to spend $125,645 at Howell Motors Ford of Wrights Corners for three vehicles: a dump truck and plow for the Water Department and two utility work trucks, one for the Water Department and one for the Sewer Department.

The price exceeded the amount the city had budgeted for the purchase by $21,645.