Judge Winkler delays privatized parking decision until April 3 - | WBTV Charlotte

Judge delays privatized parking decision by two weeks


A decision concerning the legality of the city's privatized parking lease was delayed on Wednesday.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Winkler announced he will delay his decision regarding Cincinnati's privatized parking lawsuit by two weeks.

Cincinnati City Council voted early March in favor of a 30-year privatized parking lease. The new parking plan would allow for the city's parking meters and garages to be leased to a private operator in return for a $92 million lump sum payment.

It was decided that the payment would then be used towards budget stabilization and would include projects such as the MLK interchange, a luxury apartment building, parking structure and a grocery store at Fourth and Race Streets.

Shortly after city council voted 5-4 to pass the deal, Judge Winkler issued a temporary restraining order against City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. and the City of Cincinnati.

The restraining order was issued in response to a group of concerned citizens filing suit against the city over the privatized parking plan, allowing for a judge to decide whether or not citizens should be allowed to put the issue on a ballot.

Lawyers argued their points in court before Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Winkler. However, a decision was not reached.

On March 7th, City of Cincinnati attorneys filed to move the case to U.S. District Court to try and remove the restraining order. Ultimately, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett ruled it should be remanded back to state court with Judge Winkler.

Following the judge's ruling, city officials went to Judge Winkler in Common Pleas Court asking for the restraining order to be lifted, which was denied.

Judge Winkler is now expected to make a decision on April 3rd.

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