Employees at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center aren't happy with their new commute to work. The cause is an expired parking lease with the Cincinnati Zoo.
"There's a lot of very strong employees who have been here 10, 15 years that kind of feel like this is a slap in the face," said Jim Schumacher.
Jim Schumacher has worked at the VA for seven years and said he's one of many who aren't thrilled with making this trek every day now to a lot on Dury Ave.
"There's 200 people I would say that share the same viewpoint," said Schumacher.
On Feb. 27, the VA's 10-year lease agreement with the Cincinnati Zoo expired. Employees now have to park in a handful of other spots. VA spokesperson Denise Kerr said they have a short-term plan in place to have workers park in a lot on Dury Ave. nearly a mile away and in a Hampton Inn parking lot.
"Communication has been very lacking. You can get 15 emails about a Zumba fitness class but there are no emails about your parking situation changing. There's a lot of people that are very upset," said Schumacher.
Kerr stressed they will have an attendant at the Dury Ave. location and police escorts to the lot for any employee that needs assistance.
Last Friday, a town hall meeting addressed some of the concerns. Schumacher said sometimes it can be dangerous in these areas and he added it's not the best time of year to walk outside.
"I'm off tomorrow but I can't imagine working tomorrow and having to walk that distance through the ice, snow, everything else," said Schumacher.
A statement from Cincinnati VA said "We value the safety and morale of our employees. This is an issue we have to adjust to and we would have loved to prevent this from happening. We will do whatever we can to alleviate any concerns."
The Cincinnati VA said they do have a long-term solution in the works and hope to have that sorted out in the next six months.
They didn't confirm whether or not it's with the zoo.