If you missed the Greensboro Council’s debate and discussion over plans to spend $30 million to build a new parking deck that would service a new downtown hotel, then you’re not alone. Fortunately John Hammer of the Rhino Times* was paying attention:

The City Council unanimously passed a motion to enter into a contract with the developer to design the parking structure for not more than $2 million.The city also approved the purchase of 116 East Market St. for $1.025 million. Thee purchase of land along Davie Street for $2.1 million and the cost of building the parking deck at $26 million.

What made this truly bizarre is that no one on the city council said anything about the Westin Hotel that will be built on top of the parking deck.

City Councilmember Tony Wilkins asked a couple of questions about where the money for this project was coming from, but no one said anything about the need for an 850-space parking deck, which will stretch from East market Street over February One Place to the current site of the parking deck for Elm Street Center.

…The City Council likes to talk about transparency, but this deal has only been discussed in closed session, and, Tuesday night, when it was for the first time brought before the public, nobody said anything.

Read the council’s resolution here. It says “annual operating expenses and debt service costs totaling approximately $2,285,000 will be funded from operating revenues from the new deck, existing parking fund revenues, and general fund revenues.” Gboro’s been wanting a hotel in the heart of downtown for some time now. Turns out they’ve finally figured out a way to get it.

*No link since Rhino Times e-edition requires flash player update, which I haven’t figured out yet.