Plan to pursue ideas for Dover parking garage could get green light tonight

The city may soon be examining preliminary ideas for where and how to build a downtown parking garage.
The City Council is set to vote tonight on a resolution that would give the city manager, the Parking Commission and the Dover Business and Industrial Development Authority the green light to solicit proposals for a public/private partnership for the garage.
"It's really an exploration as to what public/private arrangements can be made," said Economic Development Director Dan Barufaldi, who is an employee of the Dover Business and Industrial Development Authority.
Barufaldi said the proposals would not be solid plans for a parking garage, but merely the first steps in exploring how the city can partner with private business and different options for how the garage could look and where it could be located.
"We are seeking the authorization to go and ask those questions, to have a conversation," Barufaldi said.
Barufaldi said the committees and city officials would then examine the possibilities with hopes of coming back to the City Council in about six months with their findings and a recommendation.
The City Council will also decide tonight on a resolution that would authorize the city manager to move forward with plans to transform Long Hill Memorial Park into a dog park.
That plan has been heavily discussed in the city for about a year, and city officials have said they hope to begin construction as soon as possible so the park can be open by summer.
The park will be paid for using funds collected from developers and targeted toward park improvements.
An occupancy agreement between the city and the school district for the new cable access studios planned for the McConnell Center will also come to the council tonight after the School Board voted earlier this month to approve the agreement.
The proposed studios, which will be funded through Comcast fees, will transform the top floor of the McConnell Center into an updated studio for Channel 22 and an additional education access channel that was included as part of an agreement with Comcast.
The studio would also include two meeting rooms that would have the capability for live broadcast, such as what is currently offered in the City Council Chambers.
If the council approves the plan, the city will be able to build the center over the summer and have it operating by fall.
Because the construction of the studio is eligible for state building aid funding, the City Council is also scheduled tonight to appoint three members to a Joint Building Committee that will oversee the construction.
The resolution seeks to appoint to the committee Deputy Mayor Dean Trefethen, Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kirt Schuman and Parks Christenbury, who served on the ad hoc committees that initially drafted the agreement and helped negotiate the renewal contract with Comcast.
Tonight's meeting also includes a resolution to formally accept a bench made by city resident Rick Hebbard, who crafted the bench as a donation to the city to be placed in front of Cafe on the Corner.
There will also be a public hearing and vote on a proposal to eliminate parking time limits on several spaces along Henry Law Avenue that are now served by pay-and-display parking meters.
The city of Dover
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