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Harrisburg City Council discusses parking garage deal - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Harrisburg City Council discusses parking garage deal

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

On Tuesday night, Harrisburg City Council hosted a public hearing to discuss the proposed leasing of the city's parking garages.

It is part of the "Harrisburg Strong" financial recovery plan submitted by Receiver William Lynch last month.

"This isn't without risk and there's no guarantees," said Steven Goldfield, who is an advisor to the receiver.

Goldfield believes the leasing of the garages will benefit the city, even beyond the millions of dollars it will receive upon completion of the deal.

"The most risk-free piece of this is additional parking tax revenues, because we're not assuming in the bond deal as much as we think they're going to go up," Goldfield said.

Goldfield also talked about complaints that people have made about the planned hike in meter rates.

"You don't want people parking for eight hours in front of the dry cleaner or the hardware store," he said. "The hardware store and the dry cleaner don't like that. You want those people in the garage."

A number of residents also spoke on both sides of the issue.

"Unfortunately raising the meter rates and parking rates is the only way we can bring in parking revenue from those who come into the city since we aren't allowed to look at a commuter tax," said resident Jane Allis.

One-time mayoral candidate Nevin Mindlin said he is concerned that city council will only be voting on a term sheet that will commit the city to adopting a contract they haven't seen.

"You do not know what the deals are," he said. "It is not possible to know it."

Council also heard from unionized workers from the Parking Authority who are worried about what the deal means for them.

"Who's going to stay and who's going to get laid off," asked one worker.

Goldfield and one of the council members said that of the 70 or so workers with the Parking Authority, all but 12 will be offered a new job or a buyout.

Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed agreement Monday.

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