UPDATE: Gregg County voters chose to approve the $19 million parking facility by a vote of 54% for and 46% against.

GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KETK) –  The Gregg County Courthouse will have a new parking garage that will cost about $19 million if passed during the November election. 

With early voting starting in Texas, Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt urges people to vote for Proposition A that will allow the county to build the new parking garage. 

Currently, downtown Longview parking has only 129 parking spaces, used by courthouse visitors, businesses, and employees. Stoudt asks for people to vote to change that.

The proposed parking garage will be in downtown Longview at the corner of West Methvin Street and North Center Street to help ease parking issues as the city continues to grow. It is expected to be four stories with about 293 parking spaces. 

“Our community has really grown, we have a lot of events, a lot of things that are happening downtown,” said Katie Estrada, Longview resident.

The old bank building will be leveled to add additional space and for businesses like Lumberjacks Axe Throwing will have more parking.

“I think as far as me and other owners are concerned, it’s great for us because we have a lot of customers coming in late at night or weekdays and they have trouble finding parking because it’s so crammed down here,” said manager of Lumberjacks Axe Throwing Cole Marshall. 

The estimated cost to build the parking garage is around $19 million that would increase taxes at $9.70, based on a $100,000 evaluation. 

“More taxes that are used in the right ways managed the correct way, I think that’s just part of growth and that’s part of what we need to do to get to the goal where we’re trying to get,” said Estrada.

Along with more parking, additional office space for the Veterans Services office and the election office will be included in the build.

Judge Stoudt said if approved people won’t have to wait long for construction to start.