Local business owners voice opposition on leasing city parking | News
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)-
Some local business owners voiced their opposition to the City of Cincinnati leasing its parking facilities, in order to balance the budget for next year.
Cincinnati is facing a $34 million deficit in 2013.
If the city can lease parking for an up front fee of $40 million, officials say most of the profit could fill the budget deficit and possibly prevent future layoffs.
However, those who oppose the idea conveyed a fear of what it could lead to, including operators increasing parking fees and hurting businesses in surrounding areas. In addition, what could happen to the jobs of those who are currently employed by the city's parking services.
City Manager Milton Dohoney proposed the idea, and said privatization could create a long term revenue stream, while avoiding a tax hike or cutting city services.
The city would maintain ownership and a share of the parking profits. A separate company would operate and maintain all of the city's parking meters and most of the city's five downtown parking garages and three surface lots.
City workers who currently work for parking services would not be guaranteed their jobs under a private company. However, Dohoney said that any company who should bid on the project must interview those workers first.
Also proposed was cutting Cincinnati Police Mounted Patrol.
Dohoney hopes to pass the budget during a special city council session on Friday.
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