A motion to begin the process of selling the City of Butler’s parking assets fell one vote short at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
The proposal would have transferred ownership of nine city parking garages and lots to a group of investors known as PFS VIII (8) LLC for a sum of $10 million and an annual payment of 12% of gross parking system revenues contingent on the development of a sales agreement.
Mayor Ben Smith and Councilman Jeff Smith voted in favor of accepting the offer. Councilman Smith said he thought the deal would be beneficial to Butler residents.
“The purpose of this motion is not to definitively sell the assets,” Smith said. “The purpose of this motion is to continue the negotiations with the goal of developing a sales agreement that’s in the best interest of the city residents.”
“Revenue-wise it makes sense to do it, more importantly, the elimination of future risks, makes this the best option,” Smith said.
Councilmen Kenny Bonus, Mike Walter, and Fred Reese voted against moving forward with the agreement. Councilman-elect Bob Dandoy requested that no action be taken before he officially takes office next month. Bonus expressed concern about jumping into a deal without additional analysis.
“It’s going to have a ripple-effect on businesses. Business privilege tax is a big part of what helps our budget function,” Bonus said.
“I do not believe we should just jump on the first offer we receive and make a decision that will have an everlasting impact on the city and anyone who works or visits the City of Butler.”
According to Councilman Smith, the bid from PFS was one of three received in late September after the city issued a request for proposal. That offer came with an expiration date attached which means that since this motion failed to pass, the bid will be withdrawn by PFS.