Abandoned cars at Meridian’s parking garage

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 6:31 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The parking garage in downtown Meridian was supposed to enhance and improve the arts district when it opened in 2005, but the multi-million dollar, city-owned garage sits empty and is now a dumping ground for abandoned vehicles.

Why isn’t the public using the free garage and what is the city doing about the abandoned cars which are collecting dust and creating an eyesore?

Drive inside the Meridian Arts District Parking Garage and you’ll find abandoned cars, trucks and SUVs, including an old police cruiser covered in dust and a city-owned vehicle that’s been vandalized and covered in graffiti.

There are abandonEd cars on every level. They’re rusty, dusty, severely damaged and some are inoperable. Many have been here for years.

The vehicles litter the garage from the first floor all the way to the top, an ugly, potentially dangerous car graveyard right in the heart of downtown Meridian.

“If you want to store abandoned cars, find a piece of land or lot. When I look at that building, I don’t understand why it’s there. The only thing in that area that will draw people in is the theater. To me, the building is just sitting there and it’s useless. That’s my thought about that garage. It’s too big for this small town that has hardly any activities to fill it,” said Robert Kendrick.

The 450-space garage was built in 2005 to offer free parking options for both downtown visitors and workers, but that plan hasn’t worked.

“The building is sitting there and it’s useless. They might as well destroy it. Take it away; we’re paying taxes on it. Get rid of it,” said local Henry Crook.

“They either sell them or give them away so we can have a better parking garage for the people,” said local Michael Miles.

We reached out to city leaders about the issue. No one would talk on camera but community development director, Laura Carmichael, sent us a statement.

”We are aware of the vehicles and we have a plan that will we will implement in the near future.”

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