Guilford County government might not get much money from the new contract its entering into, but hopefully the contract will help the county get on the good side of the Lord.

The county is letting West Market Street United Methodist Church use the county’s parking lot for church goers on weekends.

The church sits right across the street from the Old Guilford County Court House – the center of county government operations.  But it’s a building that’s basically vacant on weekends when county government is closed.

The church and the county already had a verbal agreement about parking though no one can remember when it started.  However, recently, the church and the county decided it would be a good idea to formalize the agreement with a legal contract.

A memo from county facilities staff to the county commissioners states, “While preparing for mobilization of the Greensboro Plaza and Parking Deck construction project, staff were made aware of a parking arrangement with West Market Street United Methodist Church, Inc. (WMSUMC), such that WMSUMC uses the County-owned parking deck located at 301 W. Market Street, Greensboro, NC for parking for their congregation on Sundays. Staff have been unable to determine the exact date this arrangement started, though the arrangement has been in place for several years. County staff and WMSUMC staff agree it is in the best interest of both parties to execute a license agreement allowing WMSUMC to continue using the parking deck on the weekend as it is open and available for use.”

The formal agreement allows the church to use the parking deck for congregation parking on Saturdays and Sundays, when the county government is closed, until June 30, 2028 at an annual rate of $1.

Anyone who’s ever parked downtown knows that $1 a year for a parking deck with hundreds of spaces is a very good deal indeed.

Now the church will have to fork over $1 every year for something that was previously free, and the new contract puts certain obligations on the church.  For instance, four-wheelers and dirt bikes cannot be parked in the deck, the church can’t put up any signage and also the deck must be left clean and tidy.

Since cleanliness is next to godliness, that last one shouldn’t be a problem for the church goers who park there.