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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Monday, August 8

Parking and the Spa City - a touchy relationship

The Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Scott Johnson and other leaders both elected and in the business sector are coming together Tuesday at 1 p.m. to discuss the city's need for parking
They will be joined by members of the Downtown Special Assessment District, the Downtown Business Association, the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation and the Saratoga Springs Convention and Tourism Bureau to discuss their plans.
According to a press release, they "have come together to form a new partnership to address the need for more parking downtown."
The specifics will be discussed tomorrow at a news conference in the city's Woodlawn Parking lot behind the Putnam Market Building off Broadway.
In addition to Johnson, Tim Mabee, chair of the board of directors of the City’s Special Assessment District, will speak about the issue.

Read the story online to find all of the details of their plan on The Saratogian tomorrow.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years ago the City let an RFP for construction of a parking garage and commercial space on this site.

As has been the City's custom, once the development community responded to the RFP the Council ignored them, The same is true for the High Rock/Maple Avenue property.

The City Center Authority still needs parking to handle the hoped for additional and larger conventions that the expanded Center will draw. In fact, Gordon Boyd's City Center Task Force deemed it essential. But nothing has been done.

The Johnson proposal is not "cost neutral" as he would have us believe. First, he proposes to take the $750,000 from the anticipated sale of the Lillian's Lot to reduce the amount pf City bonding for the deck. But that $750,000 is already appears in the City's 2011 general operating budget. So is he proposing to amend the 2011 budget and take out this revenue? If so, is he saying that we did not need to see our taxes raised this year after all? Why did Ivins raise our taxes if they didn't even need the $750,000 for operating costs?

Finally, he says that the annual taxpayer debt for the deck will be $180,000 per year for the life of the 30 year bond. That comes to a total of $5.4 million or $30,000 per space. But don't worry, he tells us, the parking is "free."

Yes, and so is the Indoor Rec., not.

August 10, 2011 at 10:27 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mayor told us all along that the Recreation Center would pay for itself too, but last quarter it only generated 14% of the $166,500 budgeted.

Must take this idea of "free" this and "free" that with a grain of salt. In the end we pay for all of it one way or another.

Much better to be honest about it and let projects be judged on merit and cost.

August 15, 2011 at 9:50 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The loss of the Lillian's lot mandates the city address the parking deck whether it be neutral or not. The second and third quarter are the slowest quarter of the year the the Recreation Center. If they hit 14% that would be excellent. The problem with all the ciritcs as they don't have the ability to consider the ancillary benefits to increased restaurant and hotel use athe perception that there is no parking downtown so local people just don't visit downtwon. O fcourse it depends on the agenda.

September 16, 2011 at 2:32 PM 

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