Parking authority gives city $75,000

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana may be promising a proposed budget for 2014 that doesn’t include a tax hike but part of the reason may be the financial boost he got Wednesday from the Williamsport Parking Authority – a $75,000 contribution.

In a repeat of last year, the authority voted 4-0 to hand over the money to go toward the city budget.

Explaining the reasons, Dr. Anthony J. Cipolla, authority chairman, said the city does plenty for the authority, including patching lots, repairing catch basins, providing fire services and salt, and protecting the municipal authority’s assets.

Authority members voting in favor of releasing the funds were Cipolla, Marc Schefsky, Rose Choate and Ruth Grieco. Kenneth DiRocco was absent.

The authority remains on the plus side in terms of revenue and has not seen problems associated with the removal of the Mid-Town parking deck on West Third and Laurel streets.

A replacement parking lot became available when a building was razed at 210 Market St., Cipolla said.

Holiday shopping spaces open

The city has another parking space available that opened Wednesday in time for the holiday shopping season. The 34-space metered lot is on the site of the demolished Midtown Parking Garage, accessed from William Street.

“We’re calling it lot ‘T’ for ‘temporary,’ ” said William E. Nichols Jr., director of city finance and general manager of the River Valley Transit.

Two-hour meters are available in response to the merchants speaking with Campana about a need for temporary parking for customers over the holiday shopping season.

The authority then launched into discussion about the planned $9 million Trade and Transit Centre II parking garage on property owned by River Valley Transit but enforced by the authority.

The city has $5 million available toward the garage and is waiting on word from the state Redevelopment Capital Assistant Program through Gov. Tom Corbett’s office and the state Department of Community and Economic Development whether it will be awarded part or all of a $10 million grant, according to Campana.

Parking authority personnel said they want to hold a meeting about the garage funding next month.