Put Money in the Parking Meter or else!
Gee, thanks, Mayor Daley and your rubber-stamp city council! Privatization strikes again…
While Chicago’s infamous parking meter lease deal quietly celebrated its third anniversary the first week of December, the city was releasing documents chronicling more evidence the privatization of the city’s more than 36,000 parking meters turned out to be more costly for taxpayers than originally imagined.
Financial statements, released by the Chicago Inspector General’s office via their Open Chicago government transparency initiative, reveals what many critics of the lease deal had feared–the city would end up owing or paying Chicago Parking Meters, LLC millions of dollars in compensation when any sort of change or activity by the city impacts parking meter revenue for the company.
Financial statements for the company show that CPM has billed the city an additional $2,191,326 in “True-up Revenue” through the end of 2010.
As the notes from the independent auditor’s report by accounting firm KPMG LLP to the financial statements explains:
“The Company has an agreement with the City, whereby, the Company receives compensation from the City in accordance with the Agreements in the event that the City implements changes to the System, which reduces the Company’s revenues (True-up Revenue).”
These same notes reveal the city owed CPM $533,290 in True-up Revenue for 2009 and $1,658,036 for 2010.
(click here to continue reading Parking Meter Firm Bills City Another $2.1 Million | theexpiredmeter.com.)
Street festivals seem to be the biggest culprit:
According to the over 500 pages of contract with CPM, these events could include any situation which would require the city to remove a metered space from the system (installing a loading zone, moving a bus stop, etc.), or if a tax on metered parking is imposed by the city, or when metered parking is temporarily out of commission during a closure.
While removing a metered space is usually handled by adding another space or spaces elsewhere in the city to compensate CPM, the most likely culprit for this over $2 million is street closures.
Closure is defined as anytime metered parking is taken out of commission for a prolonged period of time due to any street work, be it to replace a broken water main, for street repairs or resurfacing or even for a street festival.
Under the terms of the lease, any time this occurs above an annual allowance, CPM can file a claim for the loss of potential revenue due to street closure.
But wait, there’s more indignity!
Last week Chicago Parking Meters, LLC sent the City a bill for $13.5 million in revenues they lost from motorists with handicapped parking placards parking for free in metered spots. Today our friends at The Expired Meter report the company also sent the City a bill for an extra $2.1 million in what they call “true-up revenue” related to street closures.
Our analogy comparing the parking meter deal to herpes becomes even more apt.
(click here to continue reading Parking Meter Company Bills City for Street Closures: Chicagoist.)