Alex Morrison says it's been more than three decades since true parking meters were used in downtown Macon.

On Thursday, Morrison, the executive director of the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority, said meters are coming back to Macon.

He says around 700 meters will be installed around the end of May. They'll cover more than 800 on-street parking spaces that span from 1st Street to Martin Luther King Boulevard.

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Some are dubious of the incoming machines.

"I don't like the thought of parking meters," said Janet Richards, who parked downtown Thursday. "I think they're kind of a hassle."

However, Richards also says she understands that parking meters might help free up spaces, something Chriss Lee, the owner of Parish on Cherry Street, is hoping for.

"Whatever this is, it doesn't work out," said Lee, referring to the current parking situation. "People complain about parking all the time so I think it's a good idea to try something."

One of the complaints is that right now, people stay in one space for hours, locking up a parking space and reducing foot traffic downtown.

Alex Morrison says parking meters will help fix that problem.

"We're making a tweak in the system--which is metered parking--to increase that turnover to hopefully stimulate more opportunity for business downtown," said Morrison.

He says that tweak will likely come on line this May. According to him, the project cost about $800,000 to start up, much of which came from a Renasant Bank loan. He notes that none of the money used in the project came from the county's general fund.

According to Morrison, the meters would cost $1.25 per hour and users could pay for up to three hours of time.

As for the money collected at the meters?

Morrison says "parking revenue will be dedicated to making more improvements to parking accessibility and over accessibility downtown."

He says those improvements would come in the form of projects like continued sidewalk improvements and potentially more off-street parking facilities.