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Potential parking deck on the radar for downtown Decatur

WAAY 31 learned what city and county officials are saying about the potential for a parking deck, and we heard what drivers think about it.

Posted: Jun 14, 2019 6:56 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2019 7:08 PM

As Decatur and Morgan County continue to grow, a parking deck is being discussed for downtown to handle all of the visitors.

But the big question is “How will it be funded?”

“Sometimes, when we have business at the courthouse, it’s pretty hard to get close to the courthouse," Richard McCann said.

When it comes to parking in downtown Decatur, McCann said it can be a real headache.

“You can see the growth everywhere—particularly downtown," McCann said. "Right now, you can notice traffic problems in the afternoon.”

So, when McCann heard a parking deck could soon be added to the busy city, he was thrilled, saying it makes total sense with the new growth and new attractions.

“Down the road, I think it’s going to get worse," McCann said. "To attract people to the new attractions that we have, like the arts center and the Cook Museum, I think we have to plan ahead. If people have trouble parking they’re going to stay away.”

Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long agreed a parking deck is badly needed, but he said it would cost about $6-7 million for one that would hold about 400 cars.

That’s why they’re looking for businesses to partner with the county to help foot the bill.

“I think it’s interesting when you go to other towns and it’s not just a big parking deck," McCann said. "There are little interesting shops on the ground floor and that sort of thing.”

McCann said he hopes someone will step up to the plate, saying he believes a parking deck could bring other good things to the area.

“I don’t want to see Decatur just get bigger, but improve the quality of life," he said. "More entertainment and nice restaurants and things that make people happy.”

The Decatur City Council will vote on a parking study on Monday. That study would determine if a parking deck is necessary.

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