Fulton Ordinance Could Change Downtown Parking

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FULTON - The Fulton City Council approved a plan Tuesday night that will allow the city to write an ordinance to make changes to parking downtown. The ordinance will affect the Nichols Street Parking Lot and the Market Street Parking Lot among other areas.

On Nichols Street, metered spots on the west side will become leased spots. This means residents can pay $20 a month to lease a spot from the city. Lease spots are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Spots in the center of the lot facing away from Nichols Street will remain metered parking.

The ordinance would also affect Market Street because metered parking along the east side of the lot will become leased spots. Metered spots in the center will become free three hour parking.

Parking along streets in the "Brick District" of downtown will also go from two to three hour free parking.

The council will vote on this ordinance in the coming months. Once approved, the city expects a six-month trial period of these changes to start by July 1.

Director of the Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce, Nancy Lewis, said the city expects to lose about $10,000 by eliminating several of these metered parking spots.

Despite this, Lewis said the city hopes to make up for that loss in sales tax revenue from more residents and visitors shopping downtown. Lewis said the city expects more residents and visitors to shop downtown with the increase from two to three hour free parking.

There will be a hefty fine for drivers who overstay their welcome in the free parking spots, though. The new ordinance would increase the fine for violators from five to $20.