Tammy Mutasa, Rockwall Reporter
Finding a parking space in downtown Rockwall can be difficult, and business owners say it's time the city or county commissioners do something about it.
A parking nightmare in Rockwall has business owners complaining that sales are slowing down, so they took their complaints to the Rockwall County Commissioners Court and the City Council this week. The city says be patient it has a plan.
"There’s a lot of good things that have come through downtown. What does that all mean? Increased traffic, increased needs for parking," said Mayor David Sweet.
Downtown business owner say there aren't enough parking spaces for all of the businesses as well as city and county offices downtown and that makes it hard to attract new customers or grow their business.
"Sometimes they give up and find other places to go shop at," added business owner Christi Foster.
Some business owners blame the growing pains on Rockwall County for moving government offices like the Department of Motor Vehicles to downtown, instead of moving it to other buildings like the new courthouse.
"The county commissioners and the judge have continued to bring government entities to the downtown area which has increased traffic but that's taking up parking spots our patrons would typically use," said Foster.
Merchants say things will just get worse when the tax office mores downtown.
"Something has to be done because if not, then the square will go away because we’re not going to be able to bring in new merchants," said Norma Diaz, President of the Rockwall Downtown Association.
County commissioners say it’s more convenient to have certain government offices downtown.
"We realize there is a parking issue around the square, we’re going to have to work with the merchants and the city to resolve those issues," said Rockwall County Commissioner David Magness.
The city has stepped up with a plan to resolve some of the parking problems, which includes opening up 40 city parking spaces downtown to the public. The city said a future plan will be included in the May bond election.
"City of Rockwall has made a decision to move forward with a bond proposal to take to our voters for a Downtown plan that will increase about 135 parking spots," said Sweet.
The bond election is set for May 12.