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Construction of a new downtown parking ramp is on hold temporarily because of a lack of support in the Common Council.

The Board of Parking was rebuffed in its effort to obtain approval of $7.5 million in contracts for the 1,200-vehicle Eagle Ramp at Washington and North Division streets.

Supporters of the work were able to muster only eight votes, one shy of the necessary total, and sent the item back to committee.

The bids are expected to be approved at the next meeting in two weeks, when absent Niagara Council Member Carl Perla is expected to be present. If approved then, the ramp builders will resume their goal of a scheduled opening next fall.

The Council already has approved the sale of bonds to finance the work and bids to demolish the former ramp at the site and construct the foundation for the new one.

Council members opposing the authorization could not be reached to comment today.

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