Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

December 12, 2012

City offers county parking spaces

County YMCA pledge spurs new proposal

Kokomo — In exchange for the Howard County commissioners’ pledge of $500,000 toward construction of a new YMCA, the city of Kokomo is offering up to 80 parking spaces at no cost for county employees in a proposed parking garage.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight made the offer to county officials in a letter Monday. He said the city would provide up to 80 covered parking spaces in the city-built parking garage for county employees for 30 years, “in the spirit of cooperation and progress.”

On Dec. 3, the commissioners announced their intent to provide five annual payments of $100,000 to help offset the cost of bringing a new $15 million YMCA downtown.

In recognition of the county’s pledge, Goodnight said offering the spaces in the future parking garage “will hopefully provide a savings to all county taxpayers while addressing the county’s need for downtown parking spaces.”

Reaction to the offer was immediate.

Members of the Howard County Council tabled plans Tuesday to approve a first payment on a 15,000-square-foot building at Main and Superior streets, which county officials had planned to purchase at least partially to alleviate the lack of downtown parking for county employees. The county already has a purchase agreement in place to buy the building — and 120 parking spaces — for $850,000.

Now the plan is to hold a special council meeting Dec. 21 to decide whether to accept the city offer or continue with plans to purchase the former Family & Social Services Administration building at Main and Superior.

Certain to factor into the decision is whether the county council will make good on the commissioners’ pledge.

That’s because the county council will have to approve payments beyond the first installment, and council president Dick Miller and Councilman Dwight Singer remain opposed to using tax dollars for the YMCA project.

Singer made a motion during the council’s 2013 budget hearings in September that no county tax dollars go toward the YMCA facility. The motion was approved unanimously. Since then, other council members have decided to back the commissioners’ pledge.

Goodnight said Tuesday the good-faith offer by the commissioners was a turning point.

“What changed was that county officials had previously said they were not going to help with any [public] funds, so I think this changes things,” Goodnight said.

“I’m a taxpayer, and I think this is a better use of taxpayer dollars, because you get so much more out of this project. It isn’t just a parking garage for county employees ... it’s not just for the YMCA. There’s so much going on downtown, and this will be available for all those events,” Goodnight said.

Commissioner Paul Wyman said Tuesday employee parking has been a point of contention between city and county officials for years.

“We are absolutely going to take a look at it,” Wyman said of the city’s offer. “I appreciate the offer from the city. This is brand new to us.”

Ron Metz, chairman of the YMCA’s capital campaign, also received the letter. He said Tuesday he was encouraged.

“This seems to be a magnanimous offer, and it seems to open the possibility of bringing everyone together around a worthwhile community project,” Metz said. “On behalf of the YMCA, we’re pleased with the development.”

Wyman said there have been discussions about allowing county employees to continue parking in the city-owned lot on Union Street, where the parking garage will be constructed, until the work begins. Tuesday, Goodnight said he has no problem continuing to allow county employees to park on city-owned lots downtown. The city enforces two-hour parking on the streets downtown, but not in the surface lots.

“This could be a city-county partnership,” Wyman said of the YMCA project. “I’m confident the [county] council is supportive of the YMCA project.”

Wyman said a decision will have to be made quickly.

Miller said the county council will consider the city’s offer.

“We need to have a clear understanding of the issues,” he said. “There is property to be evaluated, and at the special meeting we will be more capable of making public disclosures.”

The council needs to understand the city’s offer in conjunction with all the issues between the city and county.

“I’m always concerned about taxpayer dollars,” Miller said of pledging funds to the YMCA. “As the fiscal body we are tasked with formulating a budget. We accept or reject different requests as we go along.”

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Gardening-Bee Sanctuaries-3 [Duplicate] Bee sanctuaries Bees are pulling a disappearing act. Honeybees are vanishing from their hives. Bumblebee numbers have crashed so radically that some species are believed extinct. Even native solitary bees are in decline. Food supplies dependent upon pollinators are

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEMA's disaster decisions frustrate state, local leaders Pamela Jackson thought she was lucky to escape harm as a tornado bore down on her neighborhood last November. She huddled in a bathroom with her two disabled sons, critically ill husband and six other family members as the twister blew out windows an

    April 23, 2014

  • timthumb.jpg INDOT to install curbs on Markland

    Indiana Department of Transportation maintenance crews have been scheduled to install traffic separator curbs between opposing lanes of State Road 22/Markland Avenue during the week of April 28. Placement of the highly visible manufactured curbing is

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farmers Market 01 Kokomo Downtown Farmers' Market gets facelift Pint-sized gardeners made homemade Chia Pets at the Kokomo Downtown Farmers' Market Saturday morning while their parents shopped for homegrown produce nearby. The kids packed grass seeds and dirt inside the disposable socks you get at shoe stores. Th

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • FEMA grants disaster aid to Tipton County The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by a January storm that brought paralyzing snow and frigid temperatures. Governor Mike Pence received word Tuesday that FEMA had granted his appeal for fede

    April 23, 2014

  • Native American inmate sues Miami Correctional Facility BUNKER HILL - A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 23, 2014

  • Take Back the Night 17 Crowd rallies around domestic violence victims

    Doran Gwyn vividly remembers the night his stepdad came home from work and sat down at the table for supper. "He looked at the meal and said, 'What is this,'" Gwyn recalled. Then he took a bowl of food and smashed it against the ceiling in a rage and

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Tipton commission appointments get tangled up in confusion Months of confusion over a pair of appointments to two economic development commissions in Tipton County appear to be coming to an end, but not without its share of confusion. Single appointments to both the Tipton County Economic Development Commiss

    April 23, 2014

  • FEMA OKs aid for Tipton, 18 counties, but not Howard Co.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by a January storm that brought paralyzing snow and frigid readings.

    April 22, 2014

  • Energy-saving program powering down this year Ever wonder how energy efficient your house is? You can find out. For free. But not for long. Energizing Indiana, a 2-year-old initiative of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, offers any homeowner in the state a free energy assessment for the

    April 22, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries