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Last Meeting Of The Year Busy For Hamilton County Commissioners

the banks
John Minchillo

The Hamilton County Commissioners and FC Cincinnati have reached an agreement on building two parking garages to support the team's new stadium in the West End.
The county will build an 830-50 space parking garage just north of the stadium site. Another 300 space garage that can be used on game days will also be built near Findlay Market.  

The total estimated cost for both projects is $30 million.

Construction on the larger garage could begin in February, and work on the smaller facility would begin after that.

The team will get parking revenues on game days. But it will also provide a financial backstop if proceeds from the garage do not meet expectations.  

The garages will also be open to the public when not being used for game day parking.

The county commission also approved the operating and capital budgets for the Metropolitan Sewer District.

Ratepayers will again not see a rate increase, which has been the case since 2015. MSD had requested a 1% increase, which would have cost the average user an additional $6 per year. But commissioners rejected that.

MSD's operating budget for 2020 is $217 million.

The commission approved an MSD capital budget for $129 million, which was about $40 million less than what the utility had requested.

Meanwhile, the commission also approved a $939,000 contract extension with the SPCA to handle dog warden services in the county for another six months.

The contract extension will allow county officials to finalize a transition plan for dog warden services.  The SPCA notified the county in August that it would be ending its contract with the county.  

The county is working on a plan where the sheriff's department will handle licensing and enforcement, and deciding how to deal with kenneling issues.