JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The mayor's office and the Duval County Clerk of Courts announced Tuesday that the city of Jacksonville will provide free parking to jurors at the courthouse garage beginning Oct. 7.

The city of Jacksonville Office of Economic Development provided notice Tuesday afternoon to Metropolitan Parking Systems Inc., the owner and operator of the courthouse garage, that the city will exercise its option to provide free juror parking.

"We greatly appreciate the many citizens who serve our community as jurors," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "After a healthy debate about the best way to respect their service and protect taxpayers, we now have a resolution that will help Clerk (of Court Ronnie) Fussell improve the jury experience."

"The citizens who are called to service as jurors, and who take time from their schedules to perform their civic duty, deserve to be treated with the utmost respect," Fussell said. "I am very pleased that we will be able to make that service as convenient as possible for Jacksonville residents."

Tuesday's announcement means that beginning Oct. 7, the approximately 400-500 citizens who report for jury selection on Mondays will now have the ability to park at the courthouse garage for free.

The administration and Clerk of the Court had already agreed that the 50-60 jurors who are chosen for service during Monday jury selection would park at the courthouse garage for free Tuesday through Friday, city officials said.

Additionally, the administration and Clerk of the Court also resolved the issue of payment for the jury parking shuttle utilized during the current fiscal year.

City Council will consider Tuesday evening legislation to transfer funding from the Clerk of Court and the Public Works Department to the Office of Economic Development to support jury shuttle services through Sept. 30. (See budget transfer legislation in related content).