City Manager Dave Kennedy File Photo

Loveland, Ohio – In a June memo to City Council, City Manager Dave Kennedy said that the COVID-19 pandemic has not dampened the need for a municipal parking garage in Historic Downtown. Because of budget concerns and a possible unknown income shortfall Kennedy had previously put on hold the engineering expenditure for the project and the engineering and design of the downtown parking facility was temporarily suspended.

Kennedy’s June report stated, “Meanwhile, parking needs in the city continued to expand and availability of potential funding sources for the project came to the city’s attention.” Kennedy further explained, “With the aforementioned, it was time to request the engineering and design team for the project, to prepare a final cost estimate, including civil engineering.”

The total cost is estimated to be $5,663,700. (See estimate below)

Kennedy told Loveland Magazine Wednesday that the public will pay to park in the garage.

Below is an excerpt from the report concerning the design elements:

Design
The design of the parking facility is simplistic by nature and includes a total of 279 parking spaces.
For reference this will equal more than two times the number of spaces currently at the Linda J. Cox Trailside Parking Area.
The facility includes two levels, with 138 spaces on the ground floor and 141 spaces on the 2nd level.
Access to the ground level will be both from Harrison Avenue/First Street and from State Route 48. Access to the 2nd level will be via an exterior ramp along the side of the Works’ railcar.
The project design does not include an internal ramp to the 2nd level, which would both reduce ground level spaces and add to the cost of the project.
Access from State Route 48 will include sidewalks to allow for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic to enter into the downtown district.

 

Kennedy said that specific design and material selections for the exterior facing of the facility have not been decided and that input from the public on this matter is important.

Kennedy said, “Specific design and material selections for the exterior facing of the facility have not been decided.”
“Although preliminary designs of the parking facility have been completed, the following aerials give a good perspective on how the project fits within the downtown district and how access from State Route 48 will be configured. Note that figure number 1, does not include the razing of the structure at 124 Railroad Avenue, which will serve as the access point into the facility from within the downtown district. This area is currently serving as temporary parking, until the new parking facility project commences.” – Source: June memo to City Council

 

Financing

Kennedy told the Council, “No doubt that this project will include city bond financing, it is a priority among city staff to reduce the local financing by securing other funding sources.” One source mentioned by Kennedy is the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) program, which is administered by the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC). “The pre-application request is for $250,000, and is based heavily on jobs, in terms of retention and creation that the project could support,” said the City Manager.

Kennedy also said that the City may be eligible for Adjustment Assistance Programs including CARES Act Funding. The program is federally funded and can fund up to 50% of a project’s total cost. City staff is preparing a grant application for the funding.

Additionally, in 2019, the city submitted the parking facility project for funding consideration in the State of Ohio Biennial Capital Budget. Kennedy told Council, “This budget, which has not been adopted by the state, will undoubtedly be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic so funding has not yet been committed.”

Public Hearings

Kennedy said in his report that the next step is to prepare for public meetings. “A public meeting will likely be scheduled for an outdoor venue and announced later this summer,” he said.

Additional points made by the City Manager

  • The project will add much needed parking to the downtown district
  • The project will increase public parking in the downtown district by 46%
  • The project is supported by the majority of the city’s downtown businesses
  • The project will include a new access point into the downtown district via State Route 48 thus better disbursing traffic flow
  • The two-level design will not dominate other buildings within the district
  • Public input on the facilities exterior features and other components will be sought and utilized in the project’s final design
  • The additional purchase and demolition of the structure at 124 Railroad Avenue will improve ingress and egress into the facility. Attachments: Parking Facility Cost Estimate

 

City adds 2 new parking locations

The land where the parking garage will be located is being turned into about 50 temporary parking spaces. Kennedy said Wednesday, “We’re not finished yet, but we think it will be close to another 50 spaces.”

Another new parking area that is complete is where the McCoy house next to City Hall used to stand at 124 Railroad Avenue. The City recently demolished the house in preparation for the parking garage construction. This spot has 20 spaces.

“We are working hard to add spaces,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy says this temporary parking space at the old McCoy house next to City Hall added 20 spaces.
The 2nd new temporary location for additional parking is where the new parking garage will eventually be constructed. These spaces will have access from First Street near Works Pizzeria.
The 2nd new temporary location for additional parking is where the new garage will eventually be constructed. These spaces will have access from First Street near The Works restaurant and will hold about 50 vehicles.

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