MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — The City of Milledgeville next week will hold public forums on the concept of paid parking around the center of downtown.

Forums will be held at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday. The Union-Recorder reports the forums will take place in City Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall.

City Planner Hank Griffeth said the area under consideration for paid parking would be from Clarke Street to Jefferson Street and from Greene Street to Montgomery Street. While the city has yet to release any figures on possible prices per hour to rent each spot, Griffeth said officials would likely charge different rates based on each space’s location. And, he said every space within that area would not be a paid space.

“I anticipate that when it’s all said and done we will come up with at least two different types of parking spaces,” the city planner said. “We’ll have both a premium parking space and a regular parking space. Of course the premium parking space will be more per hour, and the premium spaces will possibly have a maximum time limit in which someone can buy time in that space. That’s purely for the purpose of making that parking space turn over, because that’s one of the things that paid parking should do. The further out you get from those premium spaces, the less per hour it costs, and there will still be spaces around town that wouldn’t cost anything.”

Griffeth said the city also is considering renting a few dozen spaces on a monthly or yearly basis to downtown business owners. He said drivers would be required to purchase a minimum of 30 minutes for any given space, and that the city’s Parking Enforcement office would ticket those who overstay their time much the same as it does now.

“The way the system will work will be based on license plate recognition,” said Griffith. “If someone pays to park at a (physical) kiosk or by phone, the license plate number uploads to (Milledgeville Parking Enforcement Officer Carla Wilkerson)’s computer the minute that transaction occurs . If she runs across a license plate where that person has not paid to park, that person would be issued a parking citation.”

City officials tentatively set Jan. 2 as a target date for the new system to go into effect.

Information from: The Union-Recorder,

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