Is the Emanuel's new parking meter proposal a good deal, no deal or a wash?

Date: 
05/01/2013
WaguespackBrockway

Alderman Scott Waguespack and Mike Brockway on WTTW*

"Everyone was sitting back for too long enjoying the benefits of privatization. We see now what the benefits reap on the people and taxpayers. It is not good at all," said Alderman Scott Waguespack, 32nd Ward, about the City's Parking Meter contract on WTTW's Chicago Tonight, Tues. Apr. 30. 

"I'm glad for their current negotiations and that they are taking a new tack," he continued. He also agreed that there is no way completely out of the parking deal, indicating that this why there have been other efforts to change the deal. 

PattonSacks

WTTW' Ponce interviews Stephen Patton and Michael Sacks*

On the WTTW panel with the Alderman were Stephen Patton, Chicago's Corporation Counsel; Michael Sacks, Vice Chair, World Business Chicago, a not-for-profit business and economic development corporation, which is chaired by the Mayor; and Mike Brockway, The Expired Meter

Patton and Sacks professed that the Mayor has made "lemonade out of lemons with this proposal." Sacks said that the Mayor's process was about the Mayor's strength. He stated that Emanuel empowered his team to fight against the $49 million and in so doing eliminate the potential liability of $1 billion over the life of the 75-year contract and provided a "day of rest" from the meters in the neighborhoods. 

Brockway questioned why the Mayor and his team did not try to readjust the three-tiered rates now. He gave detailed suggestions about what type of pricing models have been used elsewhere. In addition he indicated that the deal appears to be a wash based on numbers given to him by the City. The numbers compared increased revenues do to increase costs in one area vs. the "lost" revenue from the True Up Calculation.

Illustrating how bad the contract is, Waguespack explained that pre-contract with CPM, the City was bringing in about $23 million. CPM is bringing in $109 annually. At that rate, CPM should recoup its investment in about 10 years, said Waguespack. Patton agreed it was a bad deal but thought it would take somewhat longer than 10 years, considering equipment investment etc. 

Other reports question the fairness of the Mayor's plan being fair to all neighborhoods and residents.

While the Mayor and his office have explained the deals as follows, Waugespack has not seen the exact document so is unsure of the details:

Savings from invoicing
Original agreement with Chicago Parking Meter, LLC (CPM) had the City on the hook for street closures, removing or adding metered spaces, changing periods of stay, hours of operation or parking rates. (Known as True up adjustment, the City lost their ability to make these adjustments.)

CPM invoiced the City for $49 million for two years (ending March 31. 2013) using a calculator based on above charges.

Emanuel's proposed agreement with CPM is to pay them $8.9 million. Thus the Mayor proclaims the $40 million ($20 million per year) would represent a $1 billion savings over the remaining 71 years of the contract. 

Free Sundays
Neighborhood metered parking will be free on Sundays, south of Roosevelt Rd., west of Halsted and north of North Ave.

The intent is to provide a much-needed benefit to people attending religious services and to those enjoying all that our neighborhoods have to offer on Sundays. 

Pay-By-Cell Option
A new pay-by-cell convenience option, to be available by summer 2014 will eliminate the need for parkers to visit the pay box, print a parking receipt and then place the receipt in their windshields. Instead, parkers will be able to enter a pay box number visibly posted on street signage into a cellular phone application without the need for a receipt.

A convenience charge of .35 cents would be applied to purchases of less than two hours at one time. Payer phones will operate as payment method and individuals can create an account with an initial balance of $20. 

Parking Hour Extensions
The City has agreed to extend metered parking by one hour for all blocks where metered parking currently ends at 9 p.m. (from 9 to 10 p.m.). The area would be  bordered by the Chicago River to the South, the lake to the East, Division Street to the North and the Chicago River to the West will extend meter times by three hours (from 9 p.m. to Midnight.)  Residential streets where meters currently run until 6 p.m. will not see their hours of operation extended. 

In addition to the above parking meter costs there is a dispute in an arbitration panel. It is about disabled placard use. The arbitrator’s findings bound the City to pay CPM $12 million to close that dispute and will pay an additional $42.9 million of outstanding EPAEL claims from the past two years.

What do you think? Is the Mayors proposal, which will probably be voted on May 8th in City Council, be a good deal, no deal or a wash?

*Photos from WTTW's Chicago Tonight video

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Comments

rahm and Daley

I saw the Chicago Tonight showing and the city suits sounded like they were trying to sell us all a second lemon, but to rahms benefits and no one else. Rahm is Daley.

The Mayor has attempted to

The Mayor has attempted to scam us again, thankfully Ald Waguespack and his Progressive Caucus have run the numbers.

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