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SARATOGA SPRINGS: Parking rules

"This season, I think it's paramount that we leave the parking there," he said.

Bonacio said he did not expect to break ground on the property until September 2008, so the city would continue to have the parking lot for the next two track seasons. This then brought into question of how the city would assess the property tax on a piece of property in its first year on the tax rolls that the city is continuing to use.

McTygue suggested waiving the property tax while the lot is in the city's use. Franck agreed. "My feeling is that the city's not collecting taxes on it now, so there will be no loss of revenue," said Franck.

Bonacio agreed to pay the city's fees while the city and his lawyers hash out the details of waiving property tax.

Keehn and Kim took issue with the sale, saying that it was a "piecemeal" approach to the city's wider parking issue.

"I've been lukewarm to this proposal from the beginning," said Keehn. "Why should we take away parking without a plan in place to replace that parking?"

Keehn proposed not awarding the bid, as the city was not legally bound to do so.

Franck decried her approach, saying it was "bad business practice" for the city to request proposals for projects and let them languish. He added that the city has hosted three informational sessions regarding the sale in addition to its being discussed at City Council meetings.

He said the council members' inaction on this and other issues would likely cost them their jobs come election time.

"If we can't get a plan and get parking built within two years, we shouldn't be here," Franck said.

When construction commences, Bonacio will make 31 spaces available to the public in a section of the Price Chopper lot, which the company leases. "I believe delaying this is tantamount to further delaying a solution to parking," McCabe said before casting the deciding vote. "I'm siding with good development here.""

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