Justin Reash, Community Editor

As the parking garage uptown continues to experience structural damage, it continues to lose potential money from the spots that are affected. However, a plan to inspect and renovate the garage has been developed and is in place, according to Interim Chief of the Oxford Police Department Robert Holzworth.

“We have indeed not sold as many spots as we did last year due to water leaks within the structure,” Holzworth said.

The leaks are common with open-top garages because weather causes natural wear and tear on the top story. Thus, over time, the lower floors begin to be affected by dripping water, and other materials. Recently, these substances have damaged cars causing the city to close off numerous parking spots, according to Holzworth.

“It really isn’t unusual for water to leak through concrete. The garage is almost a decade old now and leaks are expected,” Holzworth said.

Drivers are charged $75 per month for each spot, which adds up to $900 per spot the city is losing per year. About 10 spots are currently out of commission, for a loss of about $9,000 a year, according to Dreisbach. However, OPD is proposing $120,000 for next year’s budget to assess and renovate the garage, according to Service Director Michael Dreisbach.

“We plan to hire an engineer to do a full assessment and then we’ll prioritize improvements for the garage,” Dreisbach said.

The department’s budget will be proposed to city council Nov. 15, and if approved, the money can be spent starting Jan. 1, 2012, Dreisbach said.

The repairs should be made within the first few months of 2012, according to Dreisbach.

Students who have had permanent spots in the garage over the past year have noticed the leaks.

“I noticed a couple spots closed, and at different points of the year they said you couldn’t park in a few spots so they could work on the leaks,” senior Jared Wise said.

“It makes me happy that they are going to renovate, since I will be parking there next semester,” Wise said.