Parking in downtown Augusta has been free for decades. However, this summer that could change as the city looks to further develop its urban core.
A task force that has been working on the project for a year is set to present its recommendations to Commissioners this week. The plan calls for hiring an outside company to handle parking enforcement. Rates would be no higher than $1.25 per hour. All of the funds generated by parking fees and parking violation fines would go to the city.
Augusta Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom says the new revenue will stay downtown, “to do enhancements…parking, beautification, things of that nature for downtown Augusta where the parking meters are.”
The initial plan calls for paid parking from 8am to 8pm Monday through Saturday, but some commissioners think the hours should be shorter. If the city approves the task force recommendation, next steps include requesting bids from companies to implement the plan, and holding town hall meetings to present the plan to the public. Frantom says the goal is to begin charging to park in downtown Augusta by July of this year.