Parking lease
2:55 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Plan to redo the Cincinnati parking lease

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is asking council members to sign off on a motion related to the parking lease with the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority. The measure is currently circulating among council members. It would make major changes to the original plan between the city and the port.

Cranley could publicly release details of the plan Wednesday.

The city and the port signed an agreement last year that would have leased most of the city’s parking facilities to the port. In exchange, the city would have received a large upfront payment and a yearly payment. That lease was put on hold in November following Cranley’s election as mayor.

This latest proposal appears to include only additional annual revenue to the city’s general fund through upgraded parking meters and better enforcement. It would also not involve outside contractors to manage the day-to-day operations of the parking meters and parking garages. Instead the city would maintain control of the parking system. The port would issue bonds to help pay for parking upgrades, and it could lease the Fountain Square South garage with a share of that revenue to be spent on projects in the city.

Right now the motion has the signatures of David Mann, Kevin Flynn and Charlie Winburn. It will need two more to win majority support.

Council Member Yvette Simpson is also circulating her own motion on the parking lease.  She wants city administrators to contact Xerox and Guggenheim and "request a full presentation to Council of its best and final revised parking proposal, including potential collaborations with any outside firms or organizations, including the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority."  The Port had planned to hire Xerox to manage the day-to-day operations of the parking meters.  Guggenheim was slated to handle the financial aspects of the previous parking lease.
 
"The parking facilities are one of the city's most important assets," Simpson wrote in a statement attached to her motion.  "It's important that any major proposal considered by council, including revisions to how we manage our parking facilities, involve careful consideration and thorough deliberation."

Here's the parking motion circulating among council members:

We move that the administration resolve the parking deal in the following fashion:

  • Ensure the city maintains all legal authority to establish rates and enforcement of parking meters.
  • Ensure that all net revenues from the city’s parking meters and parking enforcement remain available to the city’s general fund with no restrictions other than providing financial security to the meter upgrades and purchases.
  • Implement the capital upgrades detailed in Walker Parking Consultants’ report. The parking meter upgrades are projected by the report to generate $6.2 million of net revenue to the general fund in fiscal year 2015, which will grow to $7.4 million of net revenue to the general fund by fiscal year 2019.
  • Implement the plan detailed by Walker Parking Consultants that maintains the city as the primary authority for operations and enforcement of meters, including the hiring of enforcement officers and mater operators.
  • Work with the Port to issue revenue bonds to borrow the money necessary for this plan backed only garage revenues, a "non-tax revenue" pledge of the city (not to exceed a 1.2 to 1.0 debt service coverage ratio), and, for the 7th and Broadway garage, the TIF district.
  • Borrow only the amount of funds necessary to construct the 7th and Broadway garage, to implement the capital upgrades to modernize the city’s parking meters and garages as detailed in the report of Walker Parking Consultants, and to pay reasonable and customary transaction fees of the city and the Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati.
  • Negotiate a master lease between the city and Port related to the Fountain Square South garage, to the extent the Port is interested, that would allow the Port to share in a portion of the net revenues after debt service, expenses, and necessary capital expenses so long as all net revenues are expended by the Port in the city of Cincinnati.