Parking lease still not a done deal

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati's parking deal is still has a few more hoops to jump through before it becomes official.

Cincinnati's City Manager signed the parking lease Wednesday after winning an appeal in court, but there are empty lines on the contract where the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority has yet to ink the deal.

While the bonds are being prepared for sale both the city and the Port Authority are working to iron out the contract. If the port wants changes they will have to amend the 130 page document.

Council member P.G. Sittenfeld says he attempted to put a stop to the deal in council Wednesday but did not have enough support to get the votes needed.

"The clock is seriously ticking," P.G. Sittenfeld told FOX19. "We could have overturned this deal today. A majority of council chose not to go forward with that. It's a big mistake. We're going to live with this for the next 30 years. "

Once the Port Authority signs and there is certainty with the bonds, it will then be up to council to decide how to spend the money.

"Once this is a done, done deal and folks like myself say, 'OK we finally acknowledge we've exhausted every way of debunking the deal' then we say, 'OK what do we do with the 92 million dollars up front? Do we want to restore jobs? Do we want to put more in reserves? Do we want to invest in long term projects? That debate will happen separately," Sittenfeld said.

City Manager Milton Dohoney told FOX19 back in late March that the bond sale alone can take 60 to 90 days and said then that the administration would work as soon as possible to recall laid off employees.

FOX19 reached out to not only the Port Authority Wednesday but also to the chair of its board of directors Otto Budig, but there was no response.

Once the deal is signed the Port Authority will sign contracts with private companies to operate parking meters for the next 30 years and lots and garages for the next 50 years.

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