No more free parking for Marietta Square?

- Visitors to the Marietta Square may soon be asked to pay up. Cobb County Commissioners said they are trying to balance the budget and as it stands, the money they are collecting from the parking deck isn’t covering the annual cost.

Cobb County officials said the annual cost is $374,000. They said one option of meeting that goal is to charge people Monday through Saturday, 24-hours a day starting in January.

Right now, they charge $5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Directly across the street, the Strand Theatre is telling their patrons on their website to park in the deck. Management said their regulars won't be happy about the change.

"I think people will be upset about it," said Madi Glenn, Strand Theatre Box Office Assistant Manager. "I think there's probably a large percentage of people who will stop using it."

Glenn said when people call asking where to park for a show, she always would tell them to use the deck because it's safe, free and close by.

"I mean I definitely understand from the perspective of people who have to pay the bills, but also the parking deck is there to serve the public as well," said Glenn.

Those serving in public office on the Cobb County Board of Commissioners said they want you to chime in with ideas.

"There's no good informed decision unless you have public input. Which is what we are going to be doing tomorrow night," said Chairman Mike Boyce.

The board meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Cobb County Government building off the square and they welcome the public’s ideas. Chairman Boyce said the bottom line is they have to take in more money from the parking deck.

Strand Theatre management said they sent a letter to each commissioner protesting the change. They said someone from the theatre will be there Tuesday night.

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