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New Dispute Over Parking Deal
The fight over Cincinnati's parking lease may not yet be over.
A memo from the city's parking consultant that criticizes the lease has surfaced and we have a copy.
The city received the memo the day before the lease with the Port Authority was signed.
And, City Council members only found out about it Monday.
Local 12's Angenette Levy is downtown with a brand new round in the debate.
Right now, the Port Authority is in the middle of a 75 day vetting period.
Officials are going through the lease deal with a fine toothed comb to make sure it's a good fit, and changes could be made to it before it moves forward.
But, lease opponents want the whole thing scrapped in light of this new memo.
This June 20th memo from Walker Parking Consultants voicing concern about the city's parking lease proposal is raising the ire of opponents,
including Council Member PG Sittenfeld who opposed the deal from day one.
P.G. Sittenfeld: "Perfect or imperfect, whatever you think of the analysis, why wouldn't they share it with the policy making body of the city? That's crazy."
Walker Consultants had concerns about management fees and gross revenues from parking meters.
Last Friday, Port Authority President Laura Brunner wrote to the Cincinnati City Solicitor outlining what she called inaccuracies in the memo.
In a statement to Local 12 News, a Port Authority spokeswoman said "we are disappointed that the Walker parking memo was shared with the Port Authority nearly 3 weeks after it was presented to members of the City of Cincinnati Economic Development Department."
Roxanne Qualls: "The information that comes to light is that the Walker memo is incorrect. And I think that's important. "
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls voted in favor of the lease.
In a memo to City Council Monday, City Manager Milton Dohoney wrote the information in the Walker memo came from an earlier time and negotiations improved the deal.
Roxanne Qualls: "The administration could have handled it better. It was reflective again of what's a consistent pattern in terms of just being tone deaf, in terms of just being transparent."
Council Member Sittenfeld remains skeptical.
Neither City Manager Milton Dohoney nor his spokesperson were available for an on camera interview.
But, Meg Olberding told me the information in the Walker memo was based on old data and the city didn't necessarily give council every piece of paper associated with the deal to council.
She says Walker now supports the deal.
City Council Members Yvette Simpson, Wendell Young and Laure Quinlivan said they would like to have seen the Walker memo, even if it included inaccurate information.
Quinlivan says she wants the Port Authority to put the brakes on the deal.