Parking Changes Coming to Downtown Auburn

More parking spots coming to downtown Auburn.

Parking a top priority for Auburn City Council members this year.

Auburn city council voted to first buy the space of the Auburn Baptist Student Center for $2.33 million to add a new parking deck.

“We have a plan. We’ve been working and it includes quite a few things to give us more parking spaces,” said Auburn City Manager Jim Buston.

$1.1 million of the purchase price will actually come back to the city and be used to build a new Baptist Student Center facility in the bottom of parking deck.

$50,000 of the price goes toward temporary digs for the Baptist Student Center to meet in the old Tiger Rags building while construction of the new facility is underway.

$100,000 of that reimburses Auburn First Baptist Church for what it spent on a right of first refusal on that property.

The new Baptist Student Center will be built into the bottom floor of the parking deck. Construction will cost around $10 million and take anywhere from 9 months to a year.

“We want a minimum of 350 spots it may be 450. There are two things: how much traffic Wright St. can handle and how much we can afford to put into the parking deck,” said Buston.

Also, changes in parking and meter fees were supposed to go into effect this month from 4 hour parking to 2 hours.

But, council decided to push that back because they haven’t found a spot for the downtown merchants to park just yet.

“It would really put a burden on the downtown merchants employees. If we change our kiosk times from 4 hours to 2 hours that would be almost impossible for them not to get a ticket if you are working to come out every 2 hours and move your car. It doesn’t make a lot of sense,” said Buston.

They are in negotiations right now with Auburn Bank to possibly add a gravel parking lot in their space that will cost around $100,000 to $150,000 to be used for three years.

The changes will be postponed until August to give the city a little more time to work out this deal with the bank and see if this is the place for their downtown merchants to park.

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