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City to take bids on parking deck

The city will invite private companies to bid on running the downtown parking deck.

The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Monday to authorize Mayor Christopher Louras to request proposals for third-party management of the state-owned deck.

The vote was taken without debate and almost without discussion. The only question came from Alderman Charles Romeo who asked if the state was on board with the move.

“I have had, in the last three days, conversations with the commissioner of buildings and general services and the administrative secretary,” Board President Davis Allaire said. “They are both well aware (of what the city is doing) and looking forward to what the response will be.”

The city has been in talks with the state since 2010 over the future of the deck. The state wants the city to take over operation of the deck, which has suffered from vandalism and has been a drain on state resources. Negotiations in recent months have taken place behind closed doors.

The city commissioned a study last year by Desman Associates, a consulting firm specializing in parking issues, that found the firm would likely find interested bidders if it looked for a company to run the deck.

However, the report also projected that the deck would operate at a deficit of $58,629, though some city officials questioned that number.

Louras was not at the meeting Monday. Reached later, he said he was not expecting the city to have to subsidize the deck, but would not say if he expected the deck to be self-sufficient.

“We have no idea what the proposals could potentially hold,” he said. “We’re expecting Rutland City taxpayers will not fund the operation of the deck. That’s about as close as I can get.”


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