By Ken de la Bastide
For the past few years, there has been an ongoing dispute between Kokomo and Howard County officials when it comes to parking in the downtown area by county employees.
The Kokomo Police Department has been sending employees to strictly enforce the two-hour parking limit in the downtown area from the Howard County Courthouse to Taylor Street along Main and Union streets.
County employees who park over the two-hour time limit are receiving $15 parking tickets that increases to $30 after 16 days.
It has been a common practice of all downtown employees to park in one spot for two hours and then move to another vacant spot.
Howard County is currently 78 parking spots short for their employees in the downtown area. A previous agreement had the city providing parking spots in the surface lot of the west side of Union Street to county employees at no charge. Commissioner Paul Wyman said the city is now wanting the county to pay $35 per month for each parking spot in the surface lot. An annual cost of $29,400 to the county.
The county has made some revisions to the parking lot to the north of the Howard County Administration Center and has stopped parking by non-county employees in other parking lots owned in the downtown area by the county. Wyman said the commissioners are waiting for Kokomo to submit a written document on the $35 per month charge for parking spots in the surface lot.
Tyler Moore, president of the Board of County Commissioners, said the mayor indicated the city wanted to charge $35 per month for each spot used by the county.