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Fresno jurors can keep free parking, following deal between city, courts

Fresno Superior Courthouse
Fresno Superior Courthouse Fresno Bee file

Fresno jurors can continue parking for free at two downtown parking garages, following an agreement reached between the city and state court officials.

The city released an announcement Saturday saying it had reached the parking agreement with the Judicial Council of California and Fresno County Superior Court.

The deal will allow Fresno County Superior Court to resume offering free parking to potential jurors in Garage No. 4 at the corner of Tulare and Fulton streets, and Garage No. 8 at the corner of Tulare Street and Van Ness Avenue, the statement said.

For years, the state's court system leased most of the spaces in the city-owned parking Garage No. 4 to provide free parking for jurors summoned to Fresno County Superior Court.

That agreement was abruptly ended Monday after the city told the Judicial Council of California it would enforce a rate increase approved by Fresno City Council more than a year ago.

People who went to downtown Fresno for jury duty would have likely had to pay their own parking fees. The court system previously paid for parking of about 144 jurors, according to the judicial council.

Garage No. 4, a three-story structure, has a total of 313 parking spaces. Since 2010, the judicial council has leased 240 of those spaces for jurors serving at two downtown courthouses.

Until Monday, the state was paying the city $35 per parking space per month. But that rate is well below the $60-per-space monthly price approved by the City Council in January 2017 as part of a wholesale overhaul of parking rates in downtown Fresno.

The city said it would no longer honor the low rates.

More information on the parking agreement was expected to be released Monday, according to the city statement.