by Cory O’Donnell

Who’s watching out for Loveland’s resident taxpayers? Our city leaders have ventured down a road with a questionable road map. The city is in the midst of possibly the most expensive civic project ever with $7+ million of resident taxpayer money on the line to construct a parking garage. 

Cory O’Donnell lives in the White Pillars Subdivision and is a Loveland City Council Candidate

Who would argue the need for a parking facility given the explosion of visitors to the downtown area? Certainly, there needs to be adequate parking to support the masses that want to enjoy the available offerings.  Visitors welcome the day when they don’t have to circle the downtown area for what seems to be an eternity to secure a valuable parking spot. Alternatively, some come to spend their time and money only to turn around and go home…nowhere to park.

Imagine the business owners that are giddy with the prospect of the resident taxpayers footing the bill to get more cash through their doors.  Who could blame them for the smiles on their faces? Not me; what a gift!

But here’s where the roadmap leads to resident taxpayer disaster. There is no published plan to recover the $7+ million and make the taxpayers whole. Further, my calculator can’t get to a full lot, 365 days a year for 30 years, that will recover resident taxpayer investment.

I am far from knowledgeable about developing, constructing and managing a public parking garage. My assumption is our city leaders are well versed in public policy, zoning, codes, and other daily municipal functions, but there are specialists in private development that have the knowledge and expertise to make this happen on a for-profit basis.

Is it too late to get the proper road map that assures resident taxpayers are not left holding this massive debt?

P.S.  Our city is already committed to close to $48,000 annually in debt service for the Christman Farm property on Butterworth Road acquired in 2007 which has remained vacant all these years and has disappeared from the city council’s interest. This translates to hundreds of thousands of resident taxpayer’s dollars being flushed down the proverbial toilet for too many more years.

Can you afford more?  Who’s going to step up to the plate and get the answers?




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4 COMMENTS

  1. The Chrisman property was purchased many years ago consistent with the City’s master plan – provide services and potential growth into Warren county. The plan as executed was to create a Tax Increment Financing District that would capture improvement tax revenues to pay for the property and local improvements. In addition, the City established a Special Planning district to allow for a more dense development on a neighboring property using the City’s acreage combined to meet overall zone density and the city would preserve it’s acreage as the first city park in Warren County. The city residents said no and council listened. The Chrisman property was transferred to the CIC for potential sale. The City is continually getting offers from developers for this property (multiples in the last couple of weeks) however the products and payment terms have not met the City’s intent.
    Mr O’Donnell needs to understand and let you know the whole story and not just a single negative for his campaign. He should also let you know he sat on the CIC for 4 years under the Fitzgerald / Gross/ Settell watch and did nothing to further the use / sale of the Chrisman property. Isn’t he pointing the finger back at himself as well?

  2. Bad idea for a parking garage. I heard some town in Iowa is going to use Uber to tote people around rather than incredibly expensive bus service. Door to door and saves tax dollars. Could a shuttle be used during big weekend events?

  3. Agreed, the parking in Loveland is horrible and the traffic going into Historic Loveland on 48 where they plan on putting the garage is already awful with residents just trying to get through Loveland during their commute. I’ve sat through that traffic for 40+ mins.
    I think we need another bridge going from Sibcy/Butterworth over to Fields Ertle to relieve traffic.
    Also, wouldn’t it be great to turn the Farm on Butterworth into Loveland’s own Recreation Center.! It’d be a great addition to the community like it has for Mason, Blue Ash, and other great cities. We could have all ages benefit from it. Pools, walking trails, meeting locations, sports, and something great for our beloved Senior Citizens to go to. It would be a great place for Loveland to have, have all it’s people benefit from it, and provide revenue.

  4. Please share the source for your claim about $48k debt servicing.
    Also, are you saying the parking garage would be funded by a $7 million loan the city will never pay off? Please direct readers to more information about the city’s plan.
    Lastly, it is inappropriate to portray local business owners (many of whom are fellow residents) as “giddy” at the prospect of more revenue from the addition of parking spaces. In fact, many of these small businesses have been harmed over the years by insufficient parking due to increased use of the bike trail as well as irresponsible growth (construction of Loveland Station both eliminated parking AND added businesses without sufficient additional parking to accommodate their customers).
    It is easy to criticize but harder to come up with viable alternatives. What is your proposed solution for the multi-year downtown traffic and parking crisis?

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