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Million dollar parking spaces in Delray Beach

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More than a million dollars of public money might soon be handed over to a developer to maintain public parking spaces.

Commissioners with Delray Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency last Thursday approved a parking agreement with the developer behind a project to bring a movie theater, office and retail space along with a parking garage to the heart of Delray Beach.

That agreement uses tax dollars to pay the developer $400,000 over ten years to defray the cost of the garage and hands over $75,000 a year to maintain just 90 public parking spaces in the garage.

That means over the next ten years, taxpayers are on the hook for $1.15-million to maintain the spaces. That’s $1,277 per-space, per-year.

Delray Beach City Commissioner Mitch Katz says the CRA inked the new deal after it had already executed an agreement, along with the city commission and developer, where the developer would “accept sole responsibility for the operation and maintenance, repair and replacement of the parking garage facility.” “I don’t know another or better tern than corporate welfare,” Katz said. “This is a corporation, they agreed to something and now we’re giving them money after they agreed to build and maintain something.”

The Executive Director of the CRA, Jeff Costello, did not return several messages left at his office seeking comment.

Commissioner Katz says he plans on addressing the new agreement during an upcoming commission meeting.

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