W ith the exception of the Sibley's garage which has long been shut down, the 7 city-owned parking garages in downtown Syracuse seem to be in fairly good shape. But age, heavy usage and weather conditions have taken a toll.
On Wednesday, DPW C ommissioner Pete O'Connor asked common councilors to shell out $325,000 for some much needed maintenance for the garages which serve 5-thousand commuters a day. "We're trying to maintain them to the best of our ability." O"Connor told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon. He also assured everyone that the garages are safe.
Never the less, O'C onnor admits that the $325,000 fix up is just a bandaid approach to a growing problem. He revealed that an engineering study completed last year determined it would cost taxpayers $2.7 million to fix all the structural problems, improve surveillance equipment and take other measures to make the garages safe and secure.
Syracuse Councilor Lance Denno said that it appears the taxpayers are "subsidizing commuters who don't live in the city." He added, " T he city should not be in the parking garage business. There are private corporations that are making money operating garages downtown and the city is losing money operating parking garages downtown... and the city taxpayer ends up footing the bill."
F or now it appears councilors will go along with spending the $325,000 needed to maintain the garages, but they realize there may be some much more expensive decisions to make in the future.