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The opening of the new county law center has brought with it a new county parking policy.

The Clinton County Board of Supervisors approved a parking policy Monday that will ensure visitors to the three Clinton County office buildings have access to the parking spaces closest to the doors.

Supervisor Jim Irwin Jr. said he had some negative feedback about the policy from one person over the weekend. Irwin said the supervisors created the policy before opening the parking lot at the new law center because they wanted “to be ahead of it.”

The county is painting spaces different colors to make designation easier, said County Auditor Eric Van Lancker. Employee spaces will be lined yellow; public spaces will be lined white.

Because so many organizations use the new law center building, the supervisors had to establish a policy, said supervisor Tom Determann. The sheriff’s department, emergency management, and 911 will all need designated parking spaces, he said.

County employees will be instructed to park on the west end of the new lot, leaving spaces closest to the courthouse available to the public. Spaces will be available on the west side of Clinton’s North Third Street for overflow parking, but it’s not a paved lot and the supervisors have other priorities for that property this year.

The county will eventually make improvements to the over-flow lot, said Irwin, but supervisors want to see what the parking situation looks like before doing anything with the property. The county may want to build a garage on it, Determann said, but not until the supervisors know how much space is needed for additional parking for the courthouse.

The main lot at the law center will have about 30 employee spaces, and about 70 for the public, Van Lancker said. Though the county has fewer trials than it used to, employees should park as far west as possible during trials, leaving spaces closer to the courthouse for the public.

The lot outside the new Clinton County Law Center will be better able to handle more parking during busy trials, said Supervisor Dan Srp.

County Facilities Manager Corey Johnson said the main parking lot should be sufficient, though the number of spaces is seven less than in the former lot. That number doesn’t include spaces on the west side of Third Street.

When the main lot was closed last Friday, about 40 cars parked across the street, and the lot still had plenty of room, Johnson said.

Van Lancker said he would announce early next week when the lot at the new law center would be open for use.

The parking policy approved Monday affects other county public buildings as well. Employees at the Clinton County Administration Building will be expected to park along the south side of the building, along the length of the west side of the parking lot and in the parking area farthest north near the 20th Avenue North driveway.

At the satellite office in DeWitt, employees will park on the west side of the building, in the main parking lot along the length of the north side of the parking lot and the east row of parking in the center lot. Visitors will park next to the building and in the west row of parking spaces in the center of the lot.

Winona Whitaker is the Clinton Herald Associate Editor.