City seeks public input on proposed parking fee at 3 Forsyth Park locations

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - You could soon be paying to park at Forsyth Park.

The city is holding a meeting to get the public's input on a paid parking proposal. There are three different parking lot locations at the park where the city is proposing a $1 per hour fee. All monies generated from the proposed parking changes will go into a dedicated fund for Forsyth Park improvements. The first project would be the installation of bathrooms on the south end of the park.

The three locations where you would have to pay this fee would be the Drayton Street Cafe, the Park Avenue tennis courts, and at the angled spaces on the park side of Park Avenue.

City leaders say there are certain reasons why they are proposing this fee. For starters, the money made from the first year that this fee would be in place would cover the initial cost of the city putting meters at the park and other startup costs that come with implementing this change. Also, the restrooms, band shell and the cage building all need to be maintained, so the parking money would cover the maintenance of those facilities. And, the city would like to provide extra police patrols in the area as well as a public restroom at the south-end of the park, and there are also talks about an upgrade to the band shell lighting.

WTOC spoke to some people who frequent the park that had mixed feelings about it.

"If I have to pay for parking in the evening, then you know, I probably won't come," said Debbie Guymon.

"I don't know that it would have stopped us from taking the spot if there was a meter there..but I think if it were a change kind of thing...it might make us look twice," Paul Krasnansky said.

This parking fee would be in effect Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning in July.

The city wants to hear from the public on this proposed parking fee, and is holding a meeting on Tuesday, April 24 at the Civic Center from 4 to 7 p.m. for residents to voice their opinions. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

If you can't make it to Tuesday's meeting, there will also be another opportunity for public comment this Saturday, April 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Forsyth Park. This is the same date as the SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival. Just look for the City of Savannah table near the Band Shell.

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