HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- You see reserved parking spots all the time, whether it be for expectant mothers, teachers, etc. But now, Huntsville is the first city in Alabama to "Save A Space" for veterans.
On Saturday, District One Huntsville City Councilman Devyn Keith unveiled the "Save a Space" preferred parking program for veterans, directly in front of City Hall.
"In this community, we have a large amount of veterans and they use city services, and they come to City Hall. It would be something for us, again not necessarily repay the debt, but just pay our respects," Councilman Keith explained.
The parking space is named in honor of district one resident and Vietnam veteran Ralph Timberlake. A regular city council meeting attendee, Timberlake was lovingly described as a long -time municipal watchdog.
"That high level of accountability from somebody who went and fought in a war, come back home and now even cares about municipal things, is important. We want to signify the respect for not only what he did overseas but for what he did right here at home," Keith said.
Korean war veteran Billy Neal said he's excited about the Save a Space program because he thinks it will really help the older veterans out.
"They're doing a lot of stuff that should have been done some time ago, and I think the veterans deserve everything that they can get for them," he said.
Keith says the emphasis for the program is on easy access to city buildings. The City has plans for similar parking spots for veterans at various downtown municipal garages at Monroe, Clinton, Twickenham, and Fountain Circle adjacent to the City's engineering building. There will also be Save a Space spots established at the Dr. Richard Showers Center, and the Huntsville Aquatic Center. They hope to have some of them in place by the New Year, with more to come.