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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Parking Revenue Plummets For The Port

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Ann Thompson
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WVXU
The Port operates three downtown parking garages and one lot.

Even though COVID-19 has brought Downtown parking revenue to a stand still, the development agency The Port says it is well positioned financially to continue operating in the black.

During The Port's board of directors meeting Wednesday, Lead Financial Officer Rick Hudson went over the numbers for the second quarter. "We're basically saying there's not going to be any transient revenue, (daily parking), no event parking and even the recurring is being reduced down to 80% of what it was in the first quarter."

Hudson projects the third and fourth quarter daily parking revenue will be reduced 50% and for special events 25%.

The Port owns and operates these garages downtown:

  • Fountain Square South
  • 605 Plum
  • 609 Elm
  • 5th and Plum (lot)

However The Port says it has lowered expenses by $400,000 to offset parking losses. Hudson says the  majority of this comes from positions it is no longer going to fill.
Executive Director Laura Brunner says the agency has diversified revenue and grown unrestricted cash. "We've got the luxury of time that everything we do, except for parking, moves slowly."

At least one board member is concerned Hamilton County will not be able to make its required $700,000 payment to The Port. But Brunner is encouraged. "I'm certainly in conversation with the county. We have a meeting scheduled for next week to discuss that but I'm reasonably optimistic, based on the role we play now in support of the city and the county and the increased opportunity for that to move forward."

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology