Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Commissioner Wants Justice Center Parking Relief Offsite

A Putnam County Commissioner has an idea on how to relieve parking issues at the Justice Center by moving some vehicles off site.

Commissioner Jonathan Williams said he recommends building a protected car lot to store the vehicles. Currently, he said about a quarter of the lower parking lot appears to be used for vehicles that are not immediately needed by the sheriff’s department.

“Let’s construct a facility, which would just be fenced off, lighted with security around it,” Williams said. “Let’s move some of those vehicles off site. We could immediately free up a fair amount of parking spaces at the Justice Center.”

Williams said the county has enough available land options to explore the project. Williams said the sheriff’s department is currently examining the price tag of a one to five acre storage facility.

The lack of parking for the Justice Center has started to become an issue for local businesses in the area, Williams said.

“Right now, we have business all over the Justice Center area,” Williams said. “That includes the court house square on either side, where people going to court routinely take up those businesses parking spaces. We need to do something to fix that.”

Williams said he has received encouraging feedback from Mayor Randy Porter and Sheriff Eddie Farris about the idea. If the commission approves the possibility, Williams said the vehicles could be moved as early as this winter.

“There is a lot of moving parts to something like this,” Williams said. “I am just one out of 24 commissioners. We have to develop a plan to move forward, but I think it is something that could happen sooner rather than later.”

The county commission voted to expand the jail earlier this year, but in order to do so, additional parking is needed. The commission will have a chance to gain two parcels needed during Monday’s meeting.

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