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Cincinnati announces details of private parking proposal

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. presented details of the administration's proposed plan for the city's parking facilities to City Council's Budget and Finance Committee at its regular meeting on Tuesday.

The administration is pursuing a public-private partnership option to overhaul the city's parking system.

In this proposal, the city would get $92 million up front and $3 million in payments each year.

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls tweeted photos of the proposal, detailing some of the changes that would be put into motion if the plan passes.

One major change would be that meters would be monitored from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. in the Cincinnati Business District and from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. in Cincinnati's neighborhoods.

Right now, the meters are only monitored until 6:00 p.m. With meter hours extended, some Hyde Park Square businesses feel customers will be deterred.

"I just don't think it would be good for the commerce on the square just because people are going to be upset about paying so much," explained Candy Maifeld, who works at a salon in Hyde Park Square.

Sundays and holidays would remain free, as well as the first 10 minutes you are parked at downtown meters where it supports business growth. The city says they will have the opportunity to turn the meters off for big events, like Taste of Cincinnati.

The proposal states that the parking rates would actually be set by the Port Authority, in a public-public partnership. On-street parking will be operated by the contractor Xerox, parking garages by Denison Parking.

The proposal shows the on street parking in the business district staying at $2 an hour initially and the neighborhoods going up to $0.75 an hour after the meters are upgraded. That's a $0.25 increase. Officials say the rates are capped.

One neighborhood resident reacted to the proposal. "Well they can't really get any worse over in Clifton!" said Lauren Simon, a resident there. "It's already 25 cents for seven minutes. So, it can't get any worse than that. I don't drive around. If you find parking in Clifton, you don't move it."

If you have three unpaid tickets, you can get a boot put on your car. The provider says the boot is high tech and comes right off when you pay your tickets.

The city would get the parking meters back in 30 years, the garages in 50 years.

The City of Cincinnati tweeted that the $92 million up front sum would be used for projects like the MLK interchange, Smale Park and Wasson Way, along with budget stabilization and reserves.

Part of the funds would also go toward a proposed 30-story building at Fourth and Race streets that would house luxury apartments, parking spaces and a grocery store.

No action was taken on the proposal on Tuesday.

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, committee chair, said the committee will hold two public hearings to get public comment on the administration's proposal.

The first hearing will be next Monday, February 25 at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Room 300 City Hall; the second hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 27 at 6 p.m. at a location to be announced later this week.

For more information about the city's parking plan, click here.

For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

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30-story building being proposed Downtown

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As part of the $92 million that the City of Cincinnati could get from a public-private partnership to overhaul the city's parking system, a 30 story building is being proposed.

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