Kent -- PARTA has opened its parking deck in downtown Kent to the public. This structure, on Erie Street between Haymaker Parkway and Main Street, is the only parking deck in Portage County and can hold 365 cars.

Parking is free to the public through July 7. After that, short- and long-term parking options will be available.

"The Federal Transit Administration TIGER grant for $20 million that PARTA was awarded to build the Kent Central Gateway Multi-Modal facility has been nothing short of transformational -- for both PARTA and the city of Kent," said John H. Drew Jr., general manager of PARTA. "The lack of parking in the city has been a problem for some time."

Kent City Manager Dave Ruller agreed.

"The Multi-Modal center is a game changer for the city of Kent," Ruller said. "All of the project aspirations for downtown Kent became possible with the award of the stimulus funds." A grand opening of the Kent Central Gateway is planned for Aug. 5 from 1 to 4 p.m.