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SARATOGA SPRINGS: Pay to park?

City officials discussed major municipal projects at a workshop meeting on Tuesday, June 12, at City Hall.

The discussion of a Woodlawn Avenue parking proposal by a consortium of developers that includes Hudson-based nonprofit Community Initiatives Development Corporation, BBL Construction Services, Bonacio Construction and LaBella Associates, soon evolved into the discussion of paid parking in the city.

The conversation of paid parking has to be advanced, said Finance Commissioner Matt McCabe.

Bonacio Construction owner Sonny Bonacio said his proposal did not include any contingency for metered parking.

"As our elected officials, that's something you can discuss," he said.

Public Works Commissioner Tom McTygue said he would introduce a paid parking program to the City Council in the near future. He said he's going to propose $8-a-day parking on the municipal deck at Putnam Street and Spring Street.

While McCabe estimated that would generate upwards of $150,000 annually for the city, that cannot be done with the city's other municipal parking garage, as it was paid for partially with funds from Saratoga County. This prevents the city from charging for parking, McCabe said.

Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim took issue with the proposal of having paid parking at one municipal garage and not the other, saying it would be unfair.

The council scheduled the workshop after receiving two proposals for the Woodlawn parking project. One of those, submitted by a group of companies led by Turner Construction Co. of Albany, was described by McCabe as "more of a letter of inquiry."

Bonacio and BBL's proposal came hand-in-hand with the nonprofit Community Initiatives Development Corporation. Their proposal incorporates the city's new public safety building and a 500-space parking lot. The emergency services building would be leased back to the city for 30 years at $28.10 per square foot. They would put the rest of the property back on the tax rolls for private development once the garage is completed.

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