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story.lead_photo.caption Julie Smith/News TribuneAn operator from the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department takes up the surface in the lower portion of the parking lot Tuesday at McClung Park to make room for more green space, which will run into the bio swell shown in foreground. To make room for the natural surface, approximately 30 parking spaces will be lost.

McClung Park is trading some parking space for more green space.

The Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department removed asphalt and concrete that made up around 30 parking spots Tuesday with plans to create a new, smaller parking lot.

JJ Gates, assistant parks director, said the area will become green space instead of parking with the potential for a pavilion or other use down the line.

The area makes up "a little less than a third" of the parking lot, Gates said.

"We just want to put it back to turf, grass and softscape," he said. "We don't need that parking lot that big. The pavilion rentals, both facilities, the new overlay part will accommodate most all rentals up there."

Gates said the department kept finding bad spots in that area of the parking lot.

"We're kind of throwing good money out here (repairing it)," he said. "Todd (Spalding, parks director) always kind of wanted the parking lot reduced. That's prime park space up there on top of the hill."

Gates said the area got new curb and gutter in the last couple years, but what was being pulled up was old asphalt.

Relaying the parking lot was part of the city's bid for street repairs this year so the same contractor could do both projects.

Parks maintenance staff has been preparing the parking lot, filling some holes, and getting it ready for new overlay.

Britt Smith, operations division director for public works, said the contractor will probably lay the new parking lot within the next three weeks.

Gates said the parks department was told to take out what it wanted out so the contractor could come in with the new asphalt overlay.

"In the asphalt world, you do a base," he said. "That's kind of what we were doing. We were replacing the base and now you put 2 inches of the nice, pretty asphalt over the top of it."

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