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Price of student parking at Old Atlanta Park could decrease in 2019

Prices may be decreasing next year for Lambert High School students parking at Old Atlanta Park.

At a meeting of the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Board on Wednesday, members voted 3-1, with District 5 member Bibiano Lopez opposed and District 2 member Joe Brown absent, to recommend Forsyth County Commissioners lower the price for the parking spots at the park from $300 to $200 next year.

Prior to the motion that passed, Lopez made his own motion to reduce the fee to $175 but did not receive a second. The 100 spaces at the park are available to students who are not selected for parking at the school, which costs $125 per year.

“I’ve had eight people who have come to me about this,” Lopez said. “And honestly, I think it’s too high of a premium.”

Parks Director Jim Pryor said while there were some unhappy with the policy, the department received more praise than complaints for offering the parking.

Forsyth County Board of Education member Kristen Morrissey, who represents District 2, was on hand during the meeting to answer questions and explain how spots are allocated. Parking at Lambert is open to only juniors and seniors.

During their discussion, board members attempted to strike a balance between generating revenue for the parks department while not burdening taxpayers.

Last week, Forsyth County Commissioners discussed the policy before sending it to the parks board for a recommendation.

The county first approved allowing parking at 50 spaces in 2012 before an additional 30 were added in 2013. In 2015, the county approved moving the total number of spaces to 100 for students as parking at the school was impacted by construction.

The recommendation will come to commissioners at a future work session.