Central Penn Business Journal: Harrisburg City Council to hire independent counsel to review parking deal

May 14, 2008

Central Penn Business Journal reports:

Harrisburg City Council plans to hire independent counsel to review Mayor Stephen R. Reed’s 75-year lease proposal of the Harrisburg Parking Authority’s parking facilities and meters, council members said last night during their legislative meeting.

The independent counsel should include an attorney and a financial consultant not connected to the city, which can make an unbiased recommendation to the legislative body, said Dan Miller, council vice president.

“The decision cannot be reversed once we make it,” Miller said. “I encourage council to hire independent counsel and hope we are not forced into any artificial timelines.”

After an ordinance was read, which introduced the proposal to council, President Linda D. Thompson placed the ordinance in council’s administration committee. It will be further discussed in committee, she said. The next administration committee meeting has yet to be scheduled, said Beth Ann Gabler, city clerk.

Council is obligated to take a piece of legislation like this and perform the due diligence necessary to make sure the deal is in the best interest of Harrisburg, Thompson said. She said it is the third largest deal that has come before her on council. The deal would deliver $215 million to the city up front but hands parking operations over to an outside company.

Link to Central Penn Business Journal.


Patriot News: Lease plan sent to committee

May 14, 2008

The Patriot News reports:

The Harrisburg City Council sent Mayor Stephen R. Reed’s proposal to lease the city’s public parking facilities to its administration committee Tuesday night. Council President Linda Thompson, chairman of the committee, did not say when the committee would return a recommendation. Reed has proposed a $215 million lease of Harrisburg’s downtown public parking facilities to North American Strategic Infrastructure Partners, a New York City investment firm, and LAZ Parking of Hartford, Conn. Together, the companies would pay $215 million to lease nine parking garages, two public lots and 1,200 metered spaces. The companies would maintain, operate and even expand the parking facilities, but the parking authority would retain ownership and oversight. Irvin Kittrell III,The Patriot-News

Link to The Patriot News