City manager: 344 government jobs would be eliminated if parking plan fails

CINCINNATI - If the city's new parking proposal fails, at least 344 city jobs would be eliminated, according to a memo released Wednesday by City Manager Milton Dohoney.

Dohoney's "Plan B" would affect many government employees, including police, fire, emergency operations and public services, among others, in order to meet budget demands.

Last week, Dohoney announced a proposal to lease the Hamilton County Port Authority system that would last for 30 years for metered parking, and up to 50 years for city-owned garages and lots.

In return, the city would get $92 million in an upfront payment, along with annual payments of $3 million that would gradually increase over time, which city officials say would help fill the city's budget gap.

During the announcement it was stressed that rates couldn't increase above a set maximum amount, but officials later confirmed there was a way around the cap. An advisory board would oversee the city's parking system that could increase rates above the maximum amount, city officials acknowledged.

Officials said the board could only do so under limited circumstances that require multiple layers of approval, but residents are still concerned about the proposal.

On Monday night, a majority of residents overwhelmingly opposed the proposal during a special hearing held at City Hall.

"Should we decide not do a parking deal, or find an alternative source of revenue, I will immediately move into cut mode because we have a legal obligation to balance the budget," stated Dohoney in part in Wednesday's memo.

Dohoney says the cuts are in addition to those already incorporated in the 2013-14 fiscal year. He says the city will still have to make additional cuts over the next two years even if the parking proposal is approved.

Residents will have another choice to voice their opinion Wednesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

To view the city manager's memo and the proposed budget cuts visit:

WCPO Digital Reporter Kevin Osborne contributed to this report.

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