City confirms $315K price tag for parking plan consulting

A city spokesperson has confirmed a more than $315,000 price tag for some consulting work done for the city's parking plan. That work by Walker Parking came between last December and June of this year.

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A memo dated June 20th from Walker Parking apparently wasn't shared with the Port Authority until three weeks after it was given to members of the city's economic development department. It was made public earlier this week.

Included in it was the Port Authority's response saying there were inaccuracies in Walker's assessment.

"Could the process have been better?  Yes.  Is the content valid?  No," said Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls earlier this week when that memo was released.

In it, Walker Parking, who did some consulting work, highlights questions and concerns about the city's financial model for the parking lease.

On Thursday, FOX19 confirmed with a city spokesperson that nearly six months of consulting work done by them came at a price tag of $315,339.

"I want for somebody to step up and take accountability for spending a whole lot of taxpayer dollars on a report that, first, wasn't disclosed, and then was discredited," said city council member P.G. Sittenfeld.

The city's spokesperson told FOX19 the information in Walker Parking's assessment was based on numbers from March, adding that this particular memo wouldn't have changed anything with the parking deal.

That spokesperson added that Walker's information in this memo is no longer relevant.

"When I think about hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent for a report that gets buried, and then they say, 'Oh, well the information in the report is no good anyway.'  Can we get our $315,000 back?!  That's a lot of money to spend on something that you're not going to use, and don't even think was relevant," added Sittenfeld.

Sittenfeld says he hopes the incidents over the last week regarding these memos will lead to more transparency and better accountability.

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