Council finalizes plans for new parking deck

By Amanda Liberatore

The Champaign City Council held a study session after their regular council meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the operation of the Hill Street Parking Deck.

“This is an important project and its success is critical for downtown,” said Elizabeth Hannan, administrative services manager. “We plan to open the parking deck on March 2.”

In order to prepare for the opening, a parking promotion will go on for the months of March, April and May. Parking will be free for the first hour.

“Parking permits have also been set up for those who frequently use the garage,” said Stacy Rachel, administrative services supervisor. “There are morning and evening permits, as well as 24/7 reserved parking and gated parking.”

The project itself is almost complete, with the exception of deciding which contractor to hire for day-to-day operation of the deck. Administrative services decided on two finalists for the job: Parking Solutions, Inc. and Ampco System Parking.

“We want the contractor that we choose to excel in customer service and to balance service with budget concerns,” Hannan said. “While Ampco is more efficient, Parking Solutions, Inc. has an edge on customer service.”

Also, while Ampco wants to negotiate a 5 year contract, Parking Solutions, Inc. wants to use a three year contract.

“The three year contract seems to be the smart decision, since the parking garage is still very new and we will be looking to re-evaluate the project in three to five years anyways,” said District 3 council member Vic McIntosh.

Hannan agreed with that point and made the decision to negotiate an agreement with Parking Solutions, Inc. to staff the parking deck.

Council agreed to proceed with the negotiation, with a 5-1 vote.