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SARATOGA SPRINGS: Pay to park?

Construction could begin on the facility, across Woodlawn from Stewart's, this November. The CIDC also proposes establishing a $200,000 fund to help the city establish a municipal parking authority when the garage is completed. In a drawing in the proposal, the garage is shown as six stories. The property at 6 Woodlawn Ave. is currently a 150-space free public parking lot on 1.58 acres.

McCabe said he wasn't sold on the prospect of leasing back the property at that rate, citing the city's good bond rating.

"I believe there is a better economic way for this city to go," he said. "We don't need to lease."

Kim, whose department has spearheaded the research into a new emergency services facility, asked the council to consider what the cost of leasing back the property would be in the future, if the city did not take action soon. He also noted the opportunity to address two of the city's biggest needs.

"I think, first of all, this is an extremely intelligent response to two issues that aren't going to go away," Kim said.

Kim said that in City Hall, "there is simply not enough room. What this proposal offers is a way to actually move the ball."

Kim expressed his frustration at seeing construction costs rise while the council mulls the possibilities.

"The failure of this City Council to recognize that is irresponsible," he said. "I think the voters are going to get fed up with the wait-and-see attitude.""

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