Would Canton residents like to see a parking garage built in their neighborhood, with shuttle service to their homes, financed by a service fee added to annual property taxes?
That’s an idea that’s been recently put forward by former State Senator John Pica, who is moving to Little Italy and says he will likely make a run for state office again.
A “community benefits district,” Pica said, would provide “personnel for goodwill” and the appearance of security as well as a parking garage and shuttle. He said that it could be modeled after Baltimore’s Downtown Partnership, or a number of similar districts in other cities.
A less costly alternative, Pica said, would be to build the garage through the city’s Parking Authority and provide only the shuttle service, also paid through a premium on property tax.
Pica said that he has heard from a few residents who have off-street parking and were opposed to the idea. Residents who don’t wish to participate, he said, could be exempt from the fee and excluded by the service.
To be established, a benefits district would need to be approved by over half of the residents and businesses in the area. Pica plans to meet with local residents and businesses this Thursday at Du Burns Arena to discuss his idea.
by Erik Zygmont