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by Charles McMahon

PORTSMOUTH β€” The City Council on Monday night approved first reading of a bond resolution calling for the construction of a $12 million parking garage at the Worth lot.

By a vote of 6-2, the council agreed to send the bond resolution to second reading and public hearing slated for May 2. As proposed, the parking facility would have five levels and include 440 spaces.

Councilors Esther Kennedy and Jerry Hejtmanek voted against the first reading Monday night. Hejtmanek attempted to postpone the vote by suggesting the city hold off on consideration until it has a better picture on the budget.

β€œIt will be prudent to wait and see what our final budget is,” he said.

That move failed 5-3. Councilors who voted in favor of first reading said they were in favor of building a garage and wanted to hear from the public on May 2.

A study on the feasibility of the parking garage was updated last November and states existing utilities on site are adequate to support a parking structure. Traffic access to the garage would be from Hanover Street and pedestrian access would be made available from Maplewood Avenue, Hanover Street and the Vaughan Mall.

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