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Howard County Discusses Employee Parking Dilemma

Kokomo's mayor and the president of the Howard County commissioners consider ways to keep county employees out of downtown spaces.

Kokomo

Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

Monthly parking fees and dedicated spaces in a yet-to-be-built garage are under consideration in solving the county employee parking issue.

A longtime discussion over how Howard County employees should park in downtown Kokomo appears to be coming to a head.

Howard County Commissioners President Tyler Moore says he received a text from Mayor Greg Goodnight engaging him on how to solve a lingering problem: the county doesn’t own enough spaces around the courthouse square in Kokomo for all its employees to park. Goodnight’s text suggests each employee pay a monthly fee or stop using spots the mayor says might otherwise be used by patrons of downtown.

“They’ve kind of – I hate to use this term, but – somewhat bullied small businesses and taken away their parking,”  Goodnight says. “Hopefully we can come up with some sort of resolution here in the next – you know, we’re not on a strict timeline – but hopefully in the next few months.”

Goodnight says it’s possible to see county employees go out every couple hours to move their vehicles from one two-hour parking spot to another to avoid a ticket, but Moore says the number of people doing that is nowhere near the 78 spaces the county is said to need.

“The number of those that have still engaged in that practice, if you will, in the last few months has been fewer than ten,” Moore says. “But there’s still the concern that we need to get proper parking for all our employees.”

Moore says the commissioners have not received a formal proposal from the city, adding he hopes existing plans for a new parking garage downtown could include spaces allocated for county workers.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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