CINCINNATI - Cincinnati City Council listened to more than a dozen people voice their opinions Wednesday evening on a proposed parking plan that would drastically impact the city’s infrastructure.
Under the current parking proposal, the city would lease its parking to the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority in exchange for a one-time payment of $92 million and $3 million a year. (read the full report at the following link: http://ow.ly/i7Aj6 )
The money would be used to balance the city’s budget, which is short $15 million. Some believe that’s the deal’s biggest plus.
Some who spoke at the meeting are concerned that moving the time when people can access free street parking from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. will hurt local businesses. They argue that an extra expense and the inconvenience of having to feed meters at inopportune times would be an annoyance possible patrons would think about when facing the decision between traveling downtown or going to another part of the Tri-State.
While those consequences are very real, there’s another consequence that the city faces: the loss of jobs. The city says without the new system as a revenue stream they will likely have to cut 344 city jobs.
City Manager Milton Dohoney outlined the choice in a memo. He says without the up front $92 million from the lease deal, the city will have no choice but to cut the jobs to balance the budget. Those cuts would include 189 in the police department and 80 firefighters.
The city would also close three community centers and six pools, according to the memo.
However, those numbers don’t make the decision for everyone. Many of the people at the meeting have doubts about the plan and the alternative being offered by the city. Most who spoke during the council meeting said it was a bad deal for the city. One speaker said they are skeptical of “the private half-century monopolies (the deal) could create in our city."
9 On Your Side reporter Lanny Brannock was in attendance and got reactions from both sides.
You can watch the full report in the media player above.
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