Leaders meet to get ahead of parking concerns

Leaders meet to get ahead of parking concerns

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Right now there is a concern over parking in a growing downtown.

The city said it won't need new spaces for another three to five years, but the county who property in the city has said more parking will be needed sooner.

Some Florence County leaders said immediate action is needed on a plan to help with soon coming parking congestion in downtown Florence.

The talk is over this piece of land where people park on county property when they are dealing with county business.

County Councilman James Schofield said the issue will come January 2018 when the new judicial center opens.

At that time the county's judicial department will move over to that new facility and the open office space and parking spaces left vacated will be rented out by the county.

Councilman Schofield said right now people are parking in the county complex spaces to visit the shops and restaurants that are nearby.

He said the city and county should come together and building a parking deck to help ease that soon coming future congestion.

"The complex building is one of those types of buildings that it is very easy for the county to say to the employees, you need to park on the deck, you don't get to park down here. We can have a decal system or whatever to do that. So we can pull a lot of that load off the ground level which will then encourage people that are going in those businesses to have a place to park," Schofield said.

Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela and Schofield said the city welcomes some type of partnership to help alleviate parking concerns.

Right now the plan is for county and city leaders to get together once every month to try and come up with a viable plan.

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