- March 15, 2017
Second Reading: Downtown Core Parking Fees
In an attempt to provide adequate parking downtown in the midst of ongoing redevelopment projects, the city commission passed Ordinance 17-56, which addresses downtown property owners' option to pay a parking user fee instead of providing parking. The passing of this ordinance means property owners will now need to have their request to opt for the downtown core parking fee approved by the city. The $5,000 fee may be increased at any time via a resolution authorized by city leaders. The section regarding parking user fees will read as follows:
"At the request of the property owner or business owner, the city manager or city commission may permit the property owner or business owner pay the below parking user fee in lieu of providing all or some of the required parking if it is determined by the city manager or city commission that the parking user fee in lieu of providing parking provides the best opportunity for economic development of downtown and adequate proximate parking is available or will be provided to serve the project."
HAMPTON INN PROPOSAL
The city manager, Mike Bollhoefer, clarified that a developer's proposal to build a 90-room Hampton Inn on South Dillard Street is in the very early stages. Bollhoefer added that the proposal is not even close to receiving city approval as city staff have only just received the proposed site plan document from the developer and the plan first needs to go through the city's standard approval process.
"I'm sure the developer just did it to stir up interest," said Bollhoefer during the meeting, referring to an article published in the Orlando Sentinel. "There's a very early proposal, but it hasn't gone through a feasibility study. I mean, today is actually the first time I even saw it because I saw it in their newspaper. So no, there is no Hampton Inn in the plans – there's just a very early proposal but who knows where it will go. It just started its initial phase."
HEALTHCARE INSURANCE SWITCH
The city manager, Mike Bollhoefer, announced the city will be changing its health insurance carrier this year from United Healthcare to Cigna Healthcare due to an increase in United Healthcare's rates.
"We've been consistent with United healthcare for many years but their rates this year have gone up significantly, anywhere from 10 to 15% depending on how much you reduce benefits for employees," Bollhoefer said. "As you know, we tend to try to avoid doing this because of the change in doctors, however, we found that Cigna Healthcare had a good proposal that was only 5% more, and I think it's about 99.5% coverage of the same doctors so the chance of losing your doctor is almost nil. ... Cigna also had a bitter reputation than United Healthcare. ... So it was almost a no-brainer for city staff."
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