PARKING GARAGE: City May Have To Pay

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The federal government is raising concerns the City of Des Moines isn't holding up it end of a deal to pay for a parking garage.

It stems from the construction of the garage at Seventh and Center Streets.

In exchange for more than $15-million in federal funding to build the garage, Des Moines leaders agreed to use any future revenue to pay for maintenance and transportation projects.

City leaders then turned management of the facility over to the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority, or DART.

A review by the Federal Transit Administration said they "Found that DART did not ensure that program income was applied to transit purposes."

Des Moines leaders say that is exactly what it was used for.

Councilwoman Christine Hensley says, “When you`re using it to help offset the transit cost to citizens of Des Moines, that reduces their property taxes, and that clearly, as you look at what is transit: public transit, buses,  transit mall, I would say that`s public transit.”

The Federal Transit Information has requested that DART provide all revenues and expenditures related to the parking garage as part of its investigation.

Depending on the outcome, the City could be forced to refund the $15-million federal grant.

City leaders say they doubt that will happen.


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