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DeKalb courthouse parking deck no longer free in evenings, on weekends

Decatur DeKalb County Trending

DeKalb courthouse parking deck no longer free in evenings, on weekends

DeKalb County courthouse parking deck at the corner of Commerce Drive and West Trinity Place in Decatur. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

Decatur, GA — Visitors to the DeKalb County courthouse parking deck in Decatur have been surprised by a change in the parking fees. It is no longer free to park there in the evenings and on the weekends.

The new charge is a flat fee of $6.

“The change was made to assist in recouping costs associated with maintenance of the parking deck,” a county spokesperson said.

A sign at the DeKalb County courthouse shows the parking fee is $6. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

The parking deck, located at the corner of Commerce Drive and West Trinity Place in Decatur, is also being renovated. Construction began in January and is anticipated to be finished in spring 2025. The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved a contract with Restocon Corporation for the construction in May 2023.

“Total rehabilitation and update of the structure [will be done], which will include structural enhancements, lighting, striping, drainage, weather proofing, and repainting,” DeKalb Commissioner Michelle Long Spears said. “The renovation will be done by floor. People will be able to park in the deck during construction.”

The cost of the renovation is about $9.9 million and is being funded by the county’s first special purpose local option sales tax, the spokesperson for the county added.

According to a SPLOST project initiation package, a need assessment indicated major deficiencies have occurred over the years for the courthouse parking deck.

“This project has long been neglected for basic maintenance to preserve the structural component of this facility. Throughout the facility, there are signs of exposed steel members, crumbling concrete, and other items that pose a safety factor. The parking deck project is utilized by administration staff, courthouse staff, and the public,” the SPLOST package says.

Public art is planned to be part of the project as well. Commissioner Ted Terry said the idea came about from the city of Decatur’s downtown master plan. Decatur’s plan identifies three opportunity sites that could be redeveloped – one of them being the DeKalb County offices and the Maloof building.

The site concept in the downtown master plan recommends that the parking deck on Commerce Drive and West Trinity Place be improved with better wayfinding, placemaking, and signage.

“The one thing I noticed that was missing [in the renovation] is we weren’t doing anything that was falling in the line of beautification, placemaking, and overall enhancing the downtown area,” Terry said.

He added that this could be an opportunity to work with the city of Decatur “to create a downtown that fits within what their vision is while also still serving the county needs,” Terry said.

Final decisions have not been made on what the public art could be or who the artist would be. The county is planning to convene a stakeholder committee this spring to get feedback on what they would like to see in terms of the art installation.

“The way it generally works is the stakeholders’ feedback is given to an artist and that artist then develops the actual project, and then it’s installed,” Terry said.

A sign at the entrance of the DeKalb County courthouse parking deck informs visitors of the renovations. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

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