The Milledgeville City Council met Tuesday night to address paid parking kiosks in the downtown area. Business owners expressed concern that the city's plan might reduce customer traffic.
"What about a business that starts up from the bootstraps? They're down here trying to make it through the first year so they can make it to the second year. If they lose ten or fifteen percent of customers because people gotta come in and pay to park, that's a great big deal for them," said downtown business owner Randy New.
New believes the ultimate solution to Milledgeville's parking troubles is a parking deck.
"I think a parking deck in a strategic location, either on the Georgia college side of downtown to pull those college students away from the parking spaces our customers need or vice versa," said New.
City planner Hank Griffeth says the high price of a parking deck means it could still be some time before one is built.
"So they're very expensive to build. They run anywhere from $19-25,000 per space to build," said Griffeth.
But Griffeth says money from paid parking meters installed downtown could go towards paying for a deck in the future.
"If paid parking is implemented then some of those funds would, could go towards paying for part of a parking deck, which I think it should," said Griffeth.
The council didn't make any final decisions tonight about parking, but Griffeth says all the discussion around the topic helped show the council the way forward.
"That, in conjunction with what we got from the forums, I think it gives us the information we need to determine what decisions we're going to make from now on," said Griffeth.