Apr 18, 2016 8:23 PM

Portsmouth votes yes on parking garage property

The Portsmouth City Council voted unanimously Monday night in favor of
purchasing property on Deer Street to eventually build a new
parking garage.

The vote came after assistant mayor James Splaine tried to present a motion
to have a new assessment on the property.

Splaine said the project would be a "real win for the community in
future development for the area," and that his motion was intended to "just
to get more information before we finalize a statement
what we're willing to pay." His motion was denied, and the vote continued.

Councilor Joshua Cyr recused himself
from voting as he said he owns a nearby property and there could be
a "financial conflict of interest."

Before the vote, several councilors spoke in favor of the
property purchase.

Councilor Eric Speare said, "obviously this has been a long, long journey
as everyone knows. There were a lot of times when a lot of people thought
we wouldn't get this done."

"This is a solid win for the city."

Councilor Nancy Pearson said the move would be "an excellent opportunity for
economic development in out downtown."

City manager John Bohenko said the next steps would include
arranging a closing on the property

He said they have already been working with Walker
Parking consultants of Boston. The environmental work
has been done, he said, and they'll be looking at how
a road will be built to access the garage.

Additionally, there is a need to discuss public space
and discount resident parking fees.

The night's vote, he said, was "really about the property."

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