VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Valdosta city leaders plan to address any concerns citizens might have about replacing a parking lot downtown with a new parking deck.
As the downtown area continues to grow some citizens say a new parking deck would be beneficial.
"I normally get here around 8:45 in the morning and the parking lot we have here is normally always full. It's hard to find a parking spot." says James Watson who works downtown.
It's an issue city leaders are aware of and are trying to fix.
"We're trying to meet a need for our parking issues downtown. We have a little bit of a lack of parking," says Main Street Director Ellen Hill.
The new parking deck would either be built in the current Toombs Street parking lot or adjacent to the planned new hotel.
"We're trying to make those plans for the additional growth we'll have in the future," explains Hill.
"No matter where it goes I think it's something that's needed and I rely on them and hope they make the best decision for that location," says Watson.
While some businesses worry about losing parking while the project is under construction, some say it's worth it.
"There's always some growing pains no matter what type of growth it is, but in the long run I think it'll be worth putting up with them," Watson says.
The project would cost roughly $2-3 million dollars. It would add about 300 additional parking spaces to the area, giving downtown even more potential.
"The opportunity is there for more restaurants, more shopping, more green space, and more activity in our downtown area," explains Hill.
The project wouldn't be completed for another year and a half to two years.
However, the city hopes to answer any questions and address all concerns at the public hearing March 15th at 5 p.m.
They say it's important to make everyone comfortable with the process before it takes off.