Parking meter rate hike moves forward

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Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The price you'll pay to park downtown will double under a plan to privatize city parking spaces. A Department of Public Works committee unanimously approved the rate hike.

Eyewitness News first reported on the proposal earlier this month. ACS, a private company, will take over the city's parking meters.

Under the proposal unanimously approved in committee Monday afternoon, the proposed parking rates for downtown core and Broad Ripple would increase from .75 cents to $1.50 in 2012.

Those rates have not been changed for 35 years and the hours have remained the same. Under this proposal to privatize public parking with ACS, the hours would change to Monday through Saturday 7:00 am to 9:00 pm downtown. In Broad Ripple it would change to Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm.

"They would support 11:00 pm hours. They would support Saturday hours as long as they see significant infrastructure investment back in Broad Ripple as a part of this proposal," said Michael Huber, Indianapolis deputy mayor.

The agreement calls for ten years for parking garages and lots and 50 years for meters. For that, the city has set up a tiered revenue share system. In the first tier which covers revenue up to $8.4 million, the city gets 20% and ACS gets 80%. In the second tier, which is anything over $8.4 million, the city collects 55% and ACS 45%. The city also gets $35 million up front to spend on infrastructure.

"Install electronic meters and make more of a dent in downtown, Broad Ripple infrastructure needs, which is what these parking meters support so we don't have to be as reliant on the property taxes," said Huber.

"We think it's a win-win for the city," said Fred Laughlin.

The deal would include 100 new parking meters along Massachusetts Avenue and 30 new meters in Broad Ripple. The city says it gets something as well.

"So in addition to making a significant investment in our local community, they have made a new job investment with 200 new jobs to Marion County," said Huber.

A City-County Council committee heard the proposal Monday night but did not vote on it. A council committee is tentatively scheduled to vote on the issue Sept. 13. If that happens, the full council will vote Sept. 20.

The city took in $4.1 million in 2009 from parking meter revenue.  That breaks down as follows:

Year 2008 2009 Comments
Parking meter revenues $3,629,598 $4,143,164 Includes coins and ticket revenue
Parking operating costs      
Personnel $202,850 $278,785 Employees absorbed by DPW
Supplies and materials $6,798 $85,780 No longer needed
Contractual services $579,977 $511,798 No longer needed
Parking expense (IMPD, DPW) $1,838,005 $2,150,000  
Internal charges $142,494 $53,547  
Infrastructure investment $774,649 $749,902 Includes streets, curbs, sidewalks, land surveys, design
Remaining balance $84,825 $313,352