Solutions to Fair Parking Problem Being Discussed

The Mississippi Department of Transportation will not allow parking on Highway 19 South, outside the Lauderdale County Agri-Center, during the fair, starting this year.

It's because of concerns about safety for pedestrians and drivers.

Local government officials say they have come up with a solution for at least part of the problem.

According to county supervisor, Craig Hitt, the county has agreed to further clear an area adjacent to the parking lot at the Agri-Center to create more parking space. Officials estimate it could provide an additional 100 to 150 parking spaces.

"Also the fair producer is talking with the company and asking, once they get everything set up, if they could relocate some of the equipment, the trucks that bring fair equipment in, move that to another site," Hitt said.

To help address the problem, the city of Meridian is also considering some solutions.

"What we're looking at is the road that runs in beside Fire Hall (Station) #8, using that road and any other tributaries off Highway 19 South that we have available to park vehicles, and possibly provide a shuttle for these people so they won't have to cross Highway 19 via foot," said Meridian Police Chief Lee Shelbourn.

So far, representatives from the city, county, fair and Agri-Center have met twice to come up with a plan on how to address the parking situation.

During those meetings, the possibility of providing a shuttle bus from the mall for fair goers was also discussed. However, none of the other ideas have been approved.

When the group meets Monday at 2 p.m., officials say they hope to come up with a final plan on how to address the parking problem.

The Queen City Fair will be Sept. 27 through Oct. 3. Tickets prices are:
$6, adults
Free, children under 6

Parking inside the gate is $2 per vehicle.

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