Cincinnati City Council voted today (5-4 decision) to turn over Cincinnati’s parking to a private company for the next 30 years. In return, the city will receive annual payouts and a $92 million dollar lump sum.
For weeks, Hamilton County residents have heard that if parking doesn’t become privatized, the results could be disastrous and even dangerous.
City Manager Milton Dohoney claimed that if the measure didn’t pass, the city would have to make drastic cuts.
For instance, the city would likely have to lay off nearly 300 Cincinnati police officers and firemen, community centers would close and community development stood to lose $500,000.
After council voted, Hamilton County Judge Robert Winkler placed the decision on hold after a group of concerned citizens filed suit to block the decision. The group wants the matter decided on a voter ballot.
The projected $92 million dollar windfall is expected to stabilize the city’s budget and fund several other projects.
While some Cincinnati council members and the City Manager want to outsource parking, citizens and business owners aren’t so enthusiastic.
Based on comments from WLW 700 callers, citizens fear major parking hikes while business owners fear these hikes could drive customers away. Next to the Cincinnati streetcar, privatized parking is one of the most controversial issues in Cincinnati’s history.