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Parking Lease Dead

Parking Lease Dead

( Cincinnati ) - Mayor-Elect John Cranley has a news conference scheduled for 3pm at the Westin Hotel, where he and the Hamilton County Port Authority CEO Laura Brunner are expected to announce that the deal to lease city parking garages and meters is dead.

City Councilman PG Sittenfeld called in to Bill Cunningham on Tuesday afternoon to say that because of public pressure, the deal was being cancelled. Sittenfeld says the city has "an out" because the bonds haven't been issued yet.

An email statement from Sittenfeld reads:

"It is a tremendously positive announcement for the city and its citizens that the current parking deal is now dead. 

I was glad to help sound the alarm on this deal from the beginning, but this victory ultimately belongs to the public, who were instrumental in providing sustained public pressure.
This has shown us that the public values its public assets and wants long-term solutions to our financial challenges, not short-term fixes."
The so-called "Parking Plan" would've leased city-owned parking to the Hamilton County Port Authority for 30 years. It would've generated millions of dollars upfront. That money was going to be used to cover operating expenses as well as support city projects like work on interstate exit ramps and a new parking facility downtown.

The 2014 Budget did not rely on the parking lease, but other, long term projects did, like a new interchange for Interstate 71 at, or near Martin Luther King Drive.  Mayor-elect John Cranley says it's still going to happen.

Cranley says while the City's operating budget isn't in the best shape, it does have a healthy capital budget, and that's where the money will come from.

Cranley says he'll still look at hiring more police officers and firefighters.

He and the new Council will be sworn in December first.

 

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