Redevelopment to consider funding request for parking study update

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission will again consider a request to fund a $19,000 update to the Columbus downtown parking study in a couple of weeks.

A resolution to engage Nelson/Nygaard for this work is on the redevelopment commission’s Oct. 18 agenda. The commission previously considered the matter at its Sept. 20 meeting, but the discussion was tabled. This was due to questions about who would be the contracting entity for the agreement — the redevelopment commission or the Columbus Parking Commission.

“The parking commission has requested the redevelopment commissioners grant them the funds in order to have Nelson/Nygaard update the parking study for the central part of the downtown area,” explained parking commission chairman and city Councilman Tom Dell. He said at a previous meeting that redevelopment’s contribution is essential, as the parking commission does not receive city funds for its operations.

According to parking commission documents, the proposed fee for this update is $19,470. The original 2013 study cost almost $85,000 and was funded by the redevelopment commission, said Dave Hayward, executive director of public works/city engineer.

He told redevelopment officials that while Nelson/Nygaard hasn’t put a deadline in their proposal, he expects the update to take six months or less. The proposal includes four key tasks — project start-up and coordination, stakeholder engagement, updated recommendations and “meter procurement guidance.”

Hayward would like to take a pause between each task.

“I think we do this incrementally,” he said. “And anytime we get to a point where we don’t think the next step is necessary or in the right direction, I think we ought to pause and take a look at that.”

In discussing the update, redevelopment commission attorney Stan Gamso asked if redevelopment’s plan was to make a grant to the parking commission or to be in charge of the contract themselves.

“Who’s going to be the contracting entity?” he inquired.

Officials need to look at the ordinance that created the parking commission to see if they have the authority to contract or if redevelopment can be the contracting entity for them, Gamso said.

“I’d have to get with Mike, the attorney, to find out what our capabilities and our abilities are in contracting and being an actual customer,” Dell said, referring to commission attorney Michael DeArmitt. He then suggested that redevelopment table the matter.