Parking garage

After the city develops a system for payment, the parking garage on the corner of Adams and Madison streets in downtown Fairmont will open to the public.

With fire, electrical and elevator inspections under its belt, the city is waiting on a few technical issues before opening the new parking garage on the corner of Madison and Adams streets to the public.

And the biggest issue is developing a method of payment for cars exiting the garage, City Manager Bruce McDaniel said.

Instead of installing parking meters for each of the 262 spaces, city officials want to have a payment station within the garage — similar to the one on Fairmont State University’s campus.

For example, a driver would enter the garage and retrieve a ticket as an arm allowed entrance. After hitting a few shops or grabbing a bite to eat, the driver would return to the garage and stop at the pay station, insert money and retrieve her ticket again. The ticket would again be inserted at the exit, and the arm would raise to allow the driver to exit the garage.

The system is very similar to the one used at public garages in Morgantown.

“Everything is ready to go, with the exception of final modifications,” McDaniel said. “I’d like to think that by Oct. 1, we’ll be ready.”

The challenge will also be to find a payment system that will also accommodate monthly lease-space parking. Some of the parking in the garage will be available for lease on a monthly basis — $35 for uncovered spots and $45 for the spaces under roof. Other cars will be able to park for 50 cents per hour for up to four hours or $2 for the day.

The garage will also be open for special events, such as parades through downtown or activities at the facilities surrounding the garage, for $1.

Touted as a way to draw development to downtown Fairmont, the project received a $2 million grant from the state Economic Development Committee. Nearly five years ago, Fairmont applied for its share of the $225 million in grant funding. City officials asked for $3.77 million, which would have completely funded the project, but received a lesser amount.

Parking revenue bonds and city contributions have brought the final price tag of the project to $3.45 million.

But it’s more than just a place to park downtown. The added bonus of the project is the three floors of retail and commercial space hugging the corner and extending the length of the garage on Madison Street.

City officials have yet to announce what businesses will be established on the retail pad there.

E-mail Misty Poe at mpoe@timeswv.com.

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