The City of Saline struck a deal with Key Bank for an additional 40 parking spaces in downtown Saline during specified hours.
Saline City Council voted 6-0 to approve a public/private parking lot license agreement with Key Bank at Monday’s meeting. Key Bank owns the large lot, accessible from Michigan Avenue and McKay Street, on the northwest corner of downtown Saline’s major intersection.
City Manager Todd Campbell said the six-month deal was a trial agreement between the city and the bank. It runs from Oct. 15 to April 30.
“If there are positive results, KeyBank would consider a longer deal,” Campbell told council.
The lot will be open for public parking:
Thursdays, 5-11 p.m.
Fridays, 5:30-11 p.m.
Saturdays, noon-11 p.m.
Sundays, noon-11 p.m.
These hours would cater to visitors eating at Saline’s restaurants and people visiting Saline for weekend events.
In return, the city will share some maintenance costs, cover the liability in the lot during those hours, and agree to clear snow from the lot seven days a week. DPW Director Jeff Fordice estimated it would cost the city about $100 for each snow clearing.
Mayor Brian Marl commended Campbell and city staff for reaching the deal with Key Bank.
“I think a public-private partnership with Key Bank was the low-hanging fruit articulated in the park analysis recently completed,” Marl said. “I want to commend city staff, City Manager Campbell and legal counsel for their work on this agreement. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly very good. It’s a real critical piece in the heart of downtown for public parking and events downtown.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Linda TerHaar also commended city staff for its “sticktoitiveness” on this matter.
Councillor Janet Dillon asked if the city was planning to monitor parking during the six month agreement. Mayor Marl agreed that collecting data was a good idea.
Dillon also cautioned the parking lots might not be used as often during the winter months covered by this agreement.
Dillon asked if the spaces once assigned to News & Antiques were subject to the parking agreement. Campbell said Key Bank officials believe they own all of the parking spaces, so all of the spaces will be subject to this agreement unless new information is presented.
Downtown Parking has been an issue for years. Several downtown business owners feared the city-owned lots would not be able to meet demand after the openings of Salt Springs Brewery and Smokehouse 52. In addition, police have had stopped enforcing existing parking lot time limits due to a federal court ruling that stated chalking tires was a violation of the fourth amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.”