BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- The city of Bardstown is considering several solutions to help alleviate parking problems in the busy downtown area.
"We've sort of got a problem that I think that a lot of small towns would like to have," Mayor Dick Heaton said.
The city of Bardstown is dealing with parking issues as a result of the massive growth the city has seen since the bourbon boom.
"We have more people working downtown than we've ever had, we have more people living downtown and then you couple that with the explosion of the bourbon trail and all the visitors, parking is at a premium," Heaton said.
Steve Stivers sees it everyday. He owns Making Good Scentz right on 3rd Street and says his customers consistently tell him they have trouble finding a parking spot.
"If that spot's not there, then just don't fool with it," he said.
Heaton wants to provide more for people who are working and living downtown to free up street space for visitors. He says many employees and business owners often take up prime parking on the main streets downtown.
"We could do some private/public partnerships with people who own some property downtown that is not being utilized for parking now," Heaton said.
The city is also considering enforcing a two hour limit in busy areas, and Heaton is committed to ensure parking would be remain free.
Some business owners think enforcing a limit wouldn't make sense, since many visitors spend several hours or even a whole day in Bardstown.
"If you stick a two hour limit on it, I think you're going to turn a lot of people away, those tourists that were wanting to come in," Stivers said.
The mayor says the current municipal lot site is large enough for a three story parking garage, something that could come sometime in the future. Heaton said it could house a couple hundred parking spaces, but it comes with a hefty price tag. A garage that size would cost the city between $4 and $5 million.
"That's more of a long term, very expensive alternative," Heaton said.
It seems the idea of a parking garage is welcome with business owners as long as it fits in with the look and feel of the historic city.
"That to me would be the ultimate long term solution," Stivers said.
Heaton says he hopes to have at least some parking solutions in place by early 2020.
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