City manager signs lease to privatize parking system

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. signed the parking lease Tuesday for the outsourcing of the city's parking system.

Cincinnati City Council passed an ordinance in March that would privatize the city's parking, giving the city $92 million up front and $3 million a year.

The group opposed to the parking plan previously filed a motion asking for a stay of execution, or a temporary block, that would have prevented the city from signing a deal until an appeal was heard.

That motion was denied by Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Winkler, clearing the city to sign a deal.

Upon receiving word, Dohoney signed the lease. The City of Cincinnati tweeted on Tuesday, "@CityofCincy: With TRO lifted, City Mgr has signed parking lease. Changes to hours etc. can still be made".

The plan would lease the city's parking meters to Port Authority for the next 30 years, and lease city-owned parking lots and garages for up to 50 years.

Despite all this, several council members have expressed that city administration should reconsider the deal.

According to council member Chris Seelbach, the only way council can override the plan is with six votes. Currently, five members are opposed, saying higher meter rates and longer hours of enforcement will hurt neighborhood businesses.

Those in support of the plan argue the money will give the City of Cincinnati a structurally balanced budget for years to come and allow the city to move on projects that will have a big impact on the local economy.

In a letter from the City Manager's Office, Dohoney says changes discussed, including hours and financial implications, can still be made 'in the timeframe that the bond offering is prepared'.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.