City Could Transfer Control of Parking Garages

Three Lexington parking garages in need of repairs could end up under the ownership of the Lexington-Fayette County Parking Authority if a new proposal is approved by the Urban County Council. The proposal, which will go before the council next week, argues that handing over control of the Annex garage on West Main Street, the Victorian Square garage on West Short Street, and the Transit Center garage on East Vine Street to the Parking Authority would ease the burden on taxpayers.

Maintaining the three garages, along with the government center garage, would require close to $7.7 million dollars. Commissioner of General Services Sally Hamilton says the Parking Authority, which receives its revenue from fees and fines collected from on-street parking, is better situated to handle some of those costs.

"We have a large amount of overdue capital maintenance and repairs that can't be addressed on these garages without a proper plan and proper funding and the government itself doesn't have the necessary resources to make these structures whole," Hamilton says.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the transfer could mean an increase in parking fees for frequent users who pay by the month, but Gary Means, executive director of the parking authority, says he doubts daily visitor fees - which amount to a $1 for 30 minutes of parking - would change. The proposal is subject to the approval of the council.