City Considers Selling Parking Lots & Parking Fund to DDA
By, Crystal A. Proxmire
At the April 7, 2010 City Council special budget meeting the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) submitted a proposal to lease with the option to buy the city-owned parking system – including all public parking lots, meters and equipment, parking permit program, and revenue in the Auto Parking Fund. Council did not make any decisions at the meeting, other than to consider it along with their other budget debates.
DDA Director Cristina Sheppard-Decius- joined by head of the DDA Parking Committee Brian Kramer (owner of Rosie O’Gradies and the new Diablos), Veronica Lujic (owner of State of the Art Custom Framing), Jacki Smith (owner of Candle Wick Shoppe), and Steve Selvaggio (owner of Western Market) - presented arguments as to why the DDA should take over management of the parking system, which is now owned by the City. Their goal is to build a new parking deck in the Central Business District, with the first choice location being in the Withington parking lot.
Currently the Department of Public Works maintains city lots, The Ferndale Police Department writes the parking tickets, the court enforces the tickets and collects fines and fees and the City Council has authority over operational decisions such as parking meter rates, ticket prices, and permit parking costs and issuance.
The DDA’s proposal is not available online as of press time, although readers can check The City of Ferndale website http://www.ferndale-mi.com/ for the information in the coming days.
The proposal includes:
- A commencement date of July 1, 2010
- Base rent of 10% of all revenue from parking meters, passes, fines will be paid to the City of Ferndale on a quarterly basis. The minimum yearly rent will be no less than $100,000 a year. 10% does not include any revenue from proposed parking deck)
- Term: ten year lease with three (3) five year options
- Leased premises: 14 lots throughout the City of Ferndale
- DDA agrees to maintain the leased premises and to set aside 10% of revenue not including proposed parking deck into a capital improvement account used to maintain the parking lots and spaces
- The parking lots and spaces will continue to be owned by the City of Ferndale so no personal and/or property taxes will be due. Insurance will continue to be carried under the City of Ferndale and if any additional fees are charged the DDA will agree to pay increase.
- DDA will have the right to purchase parking lots and parking spaces between commence date and termination lease at a TBD (To be determined) price
- City will terminate the Auto Parking Fund or transfer ownership of fund to DDA and transfer 100% of Auto Parking Fund Reserves to the DDA at FYE 2010.
- DDA will assume control over all assets
- All payment-in-lieus and valet fees will continue to go to the DDA.
- 15% of Auto Parking Fund will no longer be directed to The Ferndale Police DDA will set up cashier office at DDA offices to sell passes, collect tickets etc.
- Meter collection and parking passes managed and processed by DDA Board
- Pricing of parking meters, tickets, parking passes developed and approved by DDA Board, all pricing to be competitively priced.
- Rental of all parking spaces for construction, events and temporary uses will be directed to DDA for approval.
- City of Ferndale will terminate and/or replace employees being paid under the budget of the auto parking fund. The DDA will hire and/or contact staff
- DDA will plow all leased parking space
Previous stories on the budget and parking issues….
City, Fire and Police Give their Sides in Budget Talks – April 4, 2010
Public Forums to Discuss Parking – Feb. 1, 2010
Parking Fines Go Up, Other Changes to Come – Jan. 1, 2010
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