Stories indexed with the term ‘public parking’

Old Y Lot: 2 More Years of Surface Parking?

Starting this past weekend, the city-owned 87-space surface parking lot at Fifth and William streets in downtown Ann Arbor – known as the former Y lot – was closed. And it might sit unused for a year or longer.

View to the east from Fourth & William parking structure, overlooking the Old Y lot on March 30, 2014. The lot had been closed off to any vehicle access.

View to the east from the Fourth & William parking structure, overlooking the former Y lot on March 30, 2014. The lot had been closed off to any vehicle access.

For the parcel to remain in use as part of the city’s public parking system, the pending purchaser of the property, Dennis Dahlmann, would need to reach an agreement on a leasing arrangement with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. The DDA manages the city’s public parking system under a contract with the city.

Eventually, Dahlmann intends to build a mixed-used development on the parcel, but wants to provide surface parking while the project is in the planning stages. A site plan could easily take a year to design, and to obtain necessary approvals from the planning commission and city council. The city council approved the sale of the land to Dahlmann last year at its Nov. 18, 2013 meeting.

Ben Dahlmann, senior vice president with Dahlmann Properties, attended the March 26, 2014 meeting of the DDA’s operations committee to present a revision to the leasing proposal that Dahlmann had made in January. The original proposal had been for the DDA to lease the property back from Dahlmann for $150,000 a year.

The revised proposal would be for Dahlmann and the DDA to split the net income (after expenses) from the parking lot for the next two years. Dahlmann ballparked that number at around $180,000, which would translate to a $90,000 share for Dahlmann – less than the $160,000 per year that Dahlmann figured he’d owe in property taxes.

The final sale of the property by the city to Dahlmann – at a purchase price of $5.25 million – is scheduled for April 2. No agreement on Dahlmann’s offer to lease property to the DDA was reached at the March 26 meeting. But the committee will be taking up the issue again at its April meeting. [Full Story]

$45K On-Street Parking Cost Delayed

Developers who want to remove an on-street parking space in downtown Ann Arbor may need to pay the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority $45,000 per space, but not yet. The council postponed approval of the policy at its Dec. 2, 2013 meeting – because of a desire first to hold a public hearing on the matter. The Ann Arbor DDA manages the public parking system under a contract with the city.

In this matter, the council would be acting on a four-year-old recommendation approved by the Ann Arbor DDA in 2009:
Thus it is recommended that when developments lead to the removal of on-street parking meter spaces, a cost of $45,000/parking meter space (with annual CPI increases) be assessed and provided to the … [Full Story]

First & Washington

Electronic sign shows 64 available spaces in the not-yet-open public parking in the lower levels of City Apartments, which is still under construction. [photo]

First & Washington

Signage for public parking deck portion of City Apartments project is now in place. [photo]

DDA Board Grumbles: Budget, Streetlights

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board meeting (June 5, 2013): An oblique quip from a DDA board member during the June meeting signaled likely ongoing friction between the DDA and the Ann Arbor city council: “Too many people’ve been staying up too late on Mondays …” The comment came in the context of two different board votes – one on adopting the DDA’s upcoming fiscal year 2014 budget, and another on adjustments to its current year’s budget as the year comes to a close on June 30.

Left to right: DDA board member Keith Orr, mayor John Hieftje.

Left to right: DDA board member Keith Orr, mayor John Hieftje.

The DDA had actually already adopted its FY 2014 budget – back on Feb. 6, 2013. And although it’s been customary in the past years for the DDA to adopt its budget in advance of the city council’s approval, the state enabling statute for downtown development authorities provides a different sequence: “Before the budget may be adopted by the board, it shall be approved by the governing body of the municipality.”

Considerable debate on the DDA’s budget had unfolded among city councilmembers at their May 20, 2013 meeting. And the council had ultimately decided on a 10-1 vote to approve a FY 2014 budget for the DDA that differed from the one the DDA had adopted in February. In addition to recognizing an additional $568,000 in tax increment finance revenue (TIF), the council’s action transferred an additional $300,000 from the DDA’s TIF fund to the DDA’s housing fund.

At their June 5 meeting, some DDA board members balked at the council’s action, citing the replacement of rusting-out light poles on Main Street as a more pressing need than reserving funds for undetermined future housing projects. But ultimately the board adopted the council’s approved budget on an 8-2 vote – with dissent from Sandi Smith and John Mouat. Absent from the meeting were Russ Collins and Nader Nassif.

At the June 5 meeting, the board concluded that a portion of the more than $516,000 cost for the Main Street light poles would need to come from the city’s general fund. Mayor John Hieftje indicated at the meeting that in the next month he expected the city council would be presented with a budget resolution authorizing the difference between the $516,000 total cost and the $268,000 that the DDA considers available in its council-approved budget.

Also approved by the DDA board were annual routine adjustments to its current year’s budget, which are undertaken to ensure that actual expenses and revenues are reflected accurately. The adjustments are made so that expenses do not exceed revenues in any of the funds. During those deliberations, back-and-forth between board treasurer Roger Hewitt and Newcombe Clark indicated a realization that the kind of budget amendment they were undertaking for FY 2013, at the end of the fiscal year, might be used to work around the budget levels authorized by the city council. It’s not completely clear if that strategy is possible.

But in response to Hewitt’s assurance that budget amendments could be enacted for any reason – as long as expenditures didn’t exceed revenues – Clark made his comment about people staying up too late on Monday nights. [The city council meets on Monday nights, and the council's deliberations on the DDA budget have gone long into the evening. If the DDA board can change its budget after adopting the council-approved version, then the council's deliberations would seem to be moot.]

The June meeting was Clark’s penultimate one, as his term expires at the end of July and he’s moving to Chicago to take a job there. The board’s July 3 meeting will also be board chair Leah Gunn’s last meeting, which will mark the end of over two decades of service on the DDA board, beginning in 1991.

The parking revenue and patrons report from the public parking system was one of the regular highlights of the meeting. The DDA manages Ann Arbor’s public parking system under a contract with the city. The parking report was complemented by a board resolution that awarded five additional monthly parking permits to The Varsity residential project, bringing its total to seven. The DDA can assign monthly permits to residential projects under the city’s contribution in lieu (CIL) program – which provides a mechanism for building housing without providing parking spaces onsite.

Local developer Peter Allen addressed the board during public commentary, reporting that his company had been one of three to submit bids in response to the city’s RFP (request for proposals) for brokerage services to sell the former Y lot at Fifth and William streets. He told the board he thinks the parcel is worth $5-7 million or more. [Full Story]

DDA Preps Budget for Transportation, Cops

The Jan. 25, 2013 meeting of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s operations committee featured a preview of budgets for the fiscal years 2014 and 2015. For FY 2014, the DDA budget calls for $23.1 million in expenditures against $23.4 million in revenues. That would add about $300,000 to the total fund balance reserve, which is projected to end FY 2014 fiscal at around $5.5 million.

City Apartments under construction. (View is at First & Washington looking east) The bottom two floors are a parking deck, which is on track to be turned  over to the city and the DDA  on March 15, 2013.

City Apartments, a Village Green residential property under construction on Feb. 4, 2013. (View is at First & Washington looking east) The bottom two floors are a parking deck, which is on track to be turned over to the city and the DDA on March 15, 2013. It will expand the capacity of the public parking system by almost 100 spaces. (Photo by the writer.)

The surplus from FY 2014 would be used in the FY 2015 budget, which calls for $23.8 million in expenditures against $23.5 in revenues, leaving the DDA with about $5.2 million in total fund balance reserve at the end of FY 2015.

DDA revenues come from two main sources – tax increment finance (TIF) capture and Ann Arbor’s public parking system.

Besides operation and capital maintenance of the parking system, revenues to the public parking system are used by the DDA to support the getDowntown program’s go!pass subsidy. So one focus of the Jan. 25 DDA operations committee meeting was budgeting for that program. The go!pass is a bus pass that downtown employees obtain through their employers, who pay $10 annually for passes for each of their employees. In a presentation made to the operations committee, Michael Ford – CEO of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority – requested a total of $623,662 to support the getDowntown program, including the go!pass subsidy. That compares with $553,488 granted by the DDA last year. For FY 2014, the DDA’s draft budget calls for a $600,000 allocation that could cover most of that request.

This year’s draft budget also calls for $250,000 in parking revenue to be spent on a possible arrangement with the city of Ann Arbor to pay for additional downtown police patrols. Based on the conversation at the operations committee meeting, it’s not a topic on which any recent detailed talks have taken place. But DDA executive director Susan Pollay indicated a strong interest in having those conversations with the city. If that didn’t lead to an agreement with the city, she said, then the DDA board was certainly not obligated to spend the money in that way.

Another $300,000 in the FY 2014 budget that could be used somewhat flexibly is in the TIF fund budget, labeled “capital construction.” It could be used to fund sidewalk improvements between William and Liberty along State Street to facilitate patio dining for restaurants along that strip – or streetscape improvements for William Street, or even alley improvements near the Bell Tower Hotel, Pollay told the committee.

The full DDA board will be asked to approve the FY 2014 and FY 215 budgets at its Feb. 6 meeting. The DDA’s fiscal year is in sync with the city of Ann Arbor’s fiscal year, which begins on July 1. The city council will settle the city’s FY 2014 budget by May 20 – the council’s second meeting in May. While the city uses a two-year planning cycle – which begins fresh this year – the council approves its budget just one year at a time. [.pdf of draft DDA budgets FY 2014-15] [.pdf of FY 2013 six-month financial statements] [.pdf of monthly parking reports] [Full Story]

Parking As Residential Incentive: Where?

About 40 monthly parking permits in Ann Arbor’s public parking system – to be sold to a proposed project at 624 Church St. – have been the topic of discussion by the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority in the last few months.

Location of 624 Church Street and public parking structures

The location of the 624 Church St. project is indicated with a red pushpin. Locations of structures in Ann Arbor’s public parking system are indicated with blue Ps.

Most recently, at the Dec. 19 meeting of the DDA’s operations committee, the discussion focused on location: For which of the six public parking structures would monthly permits be sold? The developer of the 624 Church St. project would prefer that the project be allowed to buy permits in the Forest parking structure.

The Forest facility, a joint venture of the DDA and the University of Michigan, is the structure closest to the proposed residential development. According to the developer’s Nov. 28 submittal to the city, the 13-story project would include more than 80,000 square feet of new floor area with the following configuration of apartments: 11 one-bedroom; 21 two-bedroom; 33 three-bedroom; and 11 four-bedroom units. That’s a total of 76 apartments, with 196 bedrooms.

The developer, Opus Development Corp., has already won approval from the DDA’s board to satisfy the project’s parking requirement without providing onsite spaces – by instead using the contribution in lieu (CIL) program. The CIL provides an option to purchase monthly permits, but the cost is at a rate 20% higher than standard pricing.

Discussion by the DDA operations committee on Dec. 19 centered around the issue of fairness: Would allowing the purchase of permits in the Forest structure give the developer of the 624 Church St. project an unfair competitive advantage in the South University area rental market? Raising the fairness issue was DDA board member Roger Hewitt, who owns Revive + Replenish, which is a tenant in the ground floor of the Zaragon Place on East University. Zaragon is a nine-story apartment building with almost 250 bedrooms, catering to the student rental market.

Other board members did not perceive the issue to be problematic, from the perspective of fairness to already-existing projects. And Susan Pollay, executive director of the DDA, pointed out that the decision to allow a project to purchase monthly parking permits is a tool that’s available to the DDA to help make a private development possible that otherwise would not be. In the case of 624 Church St., building parking spaces on that site isn’t feasible. Hewitt was concerned that the strategy – if the DDA allowed permits to be purchased at a structure very near to projects – might result in an incentive for developers in the future not to build any onsite parking.

The committee’s discussion was inconclusive, but committee members indicated they wanted to develop a formal policy on which parking structures would be chosen for monthly permits sold under the CIL program. The 624 Church St. project is due to come before the city planning commission on Jan. 15, so the developer would prefer to have the issue settled by then. But given the DDA’s desire first to establish a policy that would guide this and future decisions, it’s unlikely it will be finalized as early as mid-January.

Based on the committee’s discussion, capacity in the parking system does not appear currently to be a limiting factor on selling CIL permits. The committee also reviewed the latest monthly parking data, which shows continued increased usage of the new underground garage, Library Lane.

Revenues per space in the Library Lane structure are now beginning to approach those of on-street parking spaces, but are still the lowest of any facility in the system. That’s due in part to a discounted rate offered to induce holders of permits in other structures to move to Library Lane.

Also of interest at the operations committee meeting was a draft policy for holding events on top of the Library Lane structure, including the closure of the mid-block cut-through, Library Lane itself. [Full Story]

DDA Parking Data: Better, Faster, Stronger?

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board meeting (Dec. 5, 2012): The board had no voting items for its final meeting of the calendar year, but received several reports. Among the reports was a draft recommendation to be presented to the city council early next year about the use of five city-owned pieces of downtown land, which are currently used for parking – the Connecting William Street project. That presentation, discussion by the board, and public commentary on the topic will be covered in future Chronicle reporting.

Ann Arbor public parking system: monthly permit use by length of stay

Ann Arbor public parking system: monthly permit use by length of stay. An example of the kind of data that’s possible to track for the public parking system. The DDA board has requested that Republic Parking start including additional data in its monthly parking report.

The DDA manages the city’s public parking system, and a report presented to the board for October 2012 – the most recent month for which data is available – showed $1.675 million in revenue, which amounts to an increase in revenue compared to October 2011 of about 15.5%. The increase is at least partly a function of rate increases, changes to the billing method, and an increase in the parking system inventory. The recently completed Library Lane underground parking garage offers more than 700 spaces, which were not available a year ago. The use of the parking system as measured by hourly patrons showed only a 1.8% increase.

At the meeting, DDA board member Roger Hewitt announced that future monthly reports would begin including more detailed information on the length of time patrons park in the system. Currently the board uses revenue levels as a kind of imperfect proxy for system usage.

Also related to the parking system, the stats for November will include the fact that the parking system maxed out – with all spaces in the entire system filled – on the night of the Midnight Madness holiday shopping promotion. That’s an event sponsored by the Main Street Area Association (MSAA), which took place on Nov. 30. Maura Thomson, executive director of the MSAA, relayed her appreciation to the board during public commentary for the DDA’s financial support of the holiday lights strung on trees downtown.

Again related to parking were brief remarks made to the board by local attorney Scott Munzel, who spoke on behalf of the developer of the proposed new residential project at 624 Church St. The DDA board had given its support for around 40 parking spaces to be provided for that 14-story, 81-unit apartment building through the city’s contribution-in-lieu program. Munzel alerted the board that the project was anticipated to be on the city planning commission’s Jan. 15, 2013 agenda. Munzel was hoping the location of the parking spaces in the public parking system could be determined by then.

Ray Detter, speaking for the downtown citizens advisory council, updated the board on another major development – 413 E. Huron. The northeast corner of Huron and Division is the location of a planned residential and retail development with 213 apartments – which does not need any variances in the D1 zoning district. Detter reported the developer’s intention to proceed with the development even through it was strongly criticized by the city’s design review board.

Addressing the board on a non-parking topic was Jim Balmer, president of Dawn Farm, a nonprofit offering both residential and out-patient services supporting recovery for alcoholics and drug addicts. Dawn Farm’s Chapin Street facility has been supported in the past by the DDA, and Balmer addressed the board to thank them for that support and to highlight a future funding request – $150,000 to pay down debt. The grant is intended to help Dawn Farm achieve a target of 200 beds for its residential facilities, up from the current 159 beds.

The board received news that the preliminary draft audit report indicates that the fiscal year 2012, which ended June 30, 2012, will be unqualified – that is, “clean.” The unrestricted net assets held by the DDA at the end of the fiscal year totaled about $8.65 million. [Full Story]

DDA Reviews Mid-Year Financials, Parking

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board meeting (Feb. 1, 2012): In the one agenda item that required formal action, the DDA board unanimously voted to award an annual management incentive to Republic Parking, the contractor that manages day-to-day operations of the city’s parking system.

Sandi Smith

DDA Quiz: Board member Sandi Smith is illustrating: (a) the "increment" in "tax increment financing," (b) the amount of a parking rate increase, (c) building heights and flood plains, or (d) relative thickness of concrete slabs in parking structures. (Photos by the writer.)

The amount of the award was 90% of the total amount the board could have awarded –$45,000 of $50,000. It’s the same amount the board has awarded in each of the last three years. It’s based on a variety of criteria, including customer satisfaction surveys, independent inspections of the parking facilities, and financial performance.

February’s meeting also included a review of the DDA’s finances at the mid-point of the fiscal year – through Dec. 31, 2011. The DDA’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Operations committee chair Roger Hewitt sketched out a picture that portrayed things unfolding pretty much as expected. Although parking revenues are currently about $125,000 under the year-to-date budgeted amount, parking revenues are projected to finish the year at around $672,536 over the budgeted amount. The gross parking revenue now anticipated for FY 2012 is around $16.8 million. But capital costs associated with the new Fifth Avenue parking garage construction are anticipated to put the parking fund expenses over budget.

Part of that parking system revenue will come from rate increases and changes in billing methods, which were approved by the board at its Jan. 4, 2012 meeting. Some of the changes will not be implemented until September 2012 – like hourly rates at parking structures and lots, which will climb from $1.10 per hour to $1.20 per hour.

But other changes were implemented starting Feb. 1, including a change in the billing method at parking structures and hourly lots – from half-hourly to hourly. The board heard criticism of the change during public commentary, from a resident who makes frequent but brief trips downtown as a patron of the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library. The billing change amounts to a “surcharge” on his library use of a couple hundred dollars a year, he said.

The board also heard a pitch from the developer of the 618 S. Main project, Dan Ketelaar, who is interested in financing certain elements of the project through the state’s Community Revitalization Program. That’s the successor to the state’s brownfield and historic preservation tax credit program.

The 618 S. Main project, which received a positive planning commission recommendation on Jan. 19, would be a 7-story, 153,133-square-foot apartment building with 190 units for 231 bedrooms. The idea would be for the DDA to forgo a portion of the taxes that it would ordinarily capture on the newly constructed 618 S. Main project. The DDA captures taxes from the increment in value due to new construction within its tax increment authority (TIF) district.

The board also heard a pitch from Jody Lanning, with Lanning Outdoor Advertising, for a way to finance murals on the city’s parking structures and other public buildings. The board also entertained its usual set of updates from boards and commissions. [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Parking Data Gets Finer-Grained

At its regular monthly meeting on July 6, 2011, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board had no resolutions on its agenda requiring votes, except for the cancellation of its August meeting. (Cancellation of that meeting is an annual ritual.)

However, the meeting did include the regular monthly parking report – a comparison of the most recent month’s available data, compared with the same month a year ago. That regular parking report may be somewhat more detailed in the future. For the July board meeting, however, the board received its standard report.

Total public parking revenues for May 2011 were $1,218,442, based on permit holder fees plus fees paid by 170,471 hourly parkers in structures. That’s an increase from May 2010, which had $1,145,740 in total revenues and 169,466 hourly parkers.

Percentage-wise that’s a 6.35% increase in revenue and a 0.59% increase in the number of hourly parkers, with a total system parking space inventory of 19 additional spaces: 7,149 in May 2011 compared with 7,130 in May 2010.

The board has recognized for some time that this kind of measure for parking demand is somewhat coarse. The number of hourly parkers gives some insight, as does the total revenue, but these data do not provide a direct measure of how much of the system’s capacity is being used.

At the DDA board’s bricks and money committee meeting on Wednesday, June 29, Joe Morehouse – deputy director of the DDA – presented committee members with data showing the percentage of total parking hours sold for parking structures, with 100% corresponding to the (practically impossible) scenario of every spot in every space filled with a car 24/6 (structures are free on Sunday) and no time lost when one car pulls out and another pulls in. Like the standard parking report, the comparison for May 2011 against May 2011 using that metric also showed an increase in demand: 33.22% in May 2010 compared to 34.94% in May 2011. [Ann Arbor public parking efficiency chart]

This brief was filed from the DDA offices at 150 S. Fifth Ave., where the DDA board meets. A more detail report of the meeting will follow: [link] [Full Story]

Council Ratifies Parking Contract, Backstop

At the May 31, 2011 session of its meeting that had begun two weeks before, on May 16, the Ann Arbor city council voted to ratify its side of a contract with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority to continue to manage the city’s public parking system. The contract would transfer 17% of the parking system’s gross revenues to the city. An amendment offered by Sabra Briere (Ward 1) to retain a veto for the city council on parking rates failed on a 2-9 vote, getting support only from Briere and Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3).

The vote on the contract was unanimous.

The DDA had ratified its side of the deal at a special meeting convened last Friday, May 27. The contract, which has now been ratified by both the city and the DDA, would give the DDA the sole authority to set parking rates. Under the old contract, the DDA proposed rate changes, which were then automatically enacted unless the city council acted to veto them. The new contract requires consultation by the DDA with the city on parking rate changes.

As part of the contract, the city council also approved an “underwriting” or “backstopping” clause to the contract, which is to run over an initial 11-year term, with one 11-year renewal option. Key features of that clause include: (1) it’s applicable only through 2016; (2) it’s triggered if combined the DDA fund balance falls below $1 million; (3) the trigger is evaluated based on the annual audit of DDA books in September or October, for the previous fiscal year; (4) if underwriting were triggered, it would take the form of reducing existing payments that the DDA makes to the city; (5) the city’s liability is limited to $1 million annually and $2 million cumulatively; and (6) any money the city is deprived of through this underwriting would be restored to the city, at whatever point the DDA’s cumulative fund balance reaches $4 million.

During the parking contract discussion, Kunselman did not offer a planned resolution that would have amended the city’s fiscal year 2012 budget by transferring the balance in the DDA’s parking fund to the city, eliminating two DDA employees, and using the proceeds of that move to fund police officer positions.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall. located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link] [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Council Defers Action Again

Ann Arbor city council meeting (May 23, 2011 session of May 16 meeting): At a continued session from its May 16 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council was expected to wrap up outstanding issues related to the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. Those issues include: (1) ratification of a new contract under which the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority would continue to manage the city’s public parking system; and (2) acceptance of prior contributions by the DDA to city projects, as payment for excess tax increment finance (TIF) revenues that have been captured in the DDA’s TIF district since 2003.

Hohnke, Taylor, Teall, Higgins, Briere

Members of the city council's "mutually beneficial" committee, who are tasked with negotiating terms of a parking contract with the DDA (left to right): Carsten Hohnke (Ward 5), Christopher Taylor (Ward 3), Margie Teall (Ward 4). In the right of the frame are Marcia Higgins (Ward 4) and Sabra Briere (Ward 1). The five were conferring after the May 23 council session had recessed.

Settling those issues, which were crystallized at a special meeting of the DDA board on Friday, May 20, would allow the council to make final decisions on the fiscal year 2012 budget. While the fiscal year starts on July 1, the council is required by the city charter to adopt the budget, with any amendments, no later than its second meeting in May. If the council fails to act by then, the budget proposed by the city administrator in April is considered to be adopted. That budget currently calls for eliminating a total of 20 positions in the police and fire departments. Several firefighters attended Monday’s meeting.

After a few introductory remarks from mayor John Hieftje, instead of settling the outstanding DDA issues, the council voted immediately to recess the meeting – again – to be continued on May 31 at 7 p.m. The twice-paused meeting counts as the same meeting that began on May 16.

Hieftje’s introductory comments alluded in part to some remarks made at the council’s May 16 session about a “rainy day fund,” which had prompted the mayor to ask the city attorney’s office to draft a response. As part of his introductory comments, Hieftje also explained that he and Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) had worked on drafting language that would provide some assurance to the DDA that the city would “backstop” the DDA’s fund balances, but said they were not ready to offer a resolution to the council that evening.

The immediate vote to recess the meeting again prevented Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) from introducing a resolution that calls for moving responsibility for the public parking system back to the city of Ann Arbor from the DDA, and reducing the number of DDA staff from four to two.  The resolution would almost certainly not have passed as drafted – but there could be some interest on the council, as well as on the DDA board, for establishing an oversight body for the parking system that would not be the DDA.

Following city council’s inaction, a joint meeting of the two “mutually beneficial” committees – one from the DDA board, another from council – has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30 a.m. at the DDA’s offices at 150 S. Fifth Ave. The committees have been negotiating the parking contract for more than a year. [Full Story]