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The City of Loveland is preparing for the submission of a grant application to the Economic Development Administration (EDA). If the application is approved, it would fund approximately half of the construction cost of the proposed parking facility to be built in Downtown Loveland. The $3 million federal grant request represents 50% of the project’s estimated construction cost of $6.2 million.
This is a recent step in the planning process City Council has been working on for more than two years. If constructed, the two-story, 92,100-sq. ft. parking garage would be located on First Street near City Hall. The structure will feature 270 parking spaces, adding to the city’s current 535 spaces across town. Plans include adding solar panels to power the facility and charging stations for electric vehicles.
In addition to increasing public parking in the downtown district by 45%, the project will include vehicular and pedestrian access from State Route 48. The garage will also have an access point from First Street.
If the EDA application is funded, this would be added to the $1.15 million in grant funding already secured: a $900k Capitol Bill Community Project grant from the State of Ohio and a $250k grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
The proposed parking facility’s many benefits to the downtown area have helped to secure its grant funding awarded thus far. Benefits to the downtown area not only include enhancing parking access but improving pedestrian safety; helping traffic flow for motorists and safety services; and creating and retaining jobs within the downtown district.
Council may also consider using the city’s $1.3 million in Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (American Rescue Plan Act) as an additional funding source, as recommended by the Finance Commission. Potentially, an additional $688,000 could be received in 2022, depending on Ohio legislative action. Any remaining project balance, not funded through grants, would be funded through bonds.
Once all funding is in place, and following public input, if Council should direct city staff to proceed, bidding for construction proposals could take place in spring 2022 with hopes to complete the garage by early 2023.