Lower parking assessments, higher permit prices

March 16, 2018

The Rochester Parking Advisory Committee is requesting the renewal of a special assessment district (SAD) within the parking management district for a third year, at a lower annual amount, and increasing monthly parking pass fees by $5 per month, effective April 1.

 

Rochester Deputy City Manager Nik Banda said on Monday, March 12, that the parking committee in February unanimously passed a motion to request city council consider a third year of the Parking Management District's special assessment district to assist payment of the bond debt the city incurred for the construction of parking platforms. He said the city council initially approved three one-year SADs to be re-evaluated each February after analyzing the health of the parking fund, with the goal of having that fund become self-sustaining, covering bond debt for the duration of the bond issue. 

 

Band said the goal also included building a reserve fund of $100,000 for large maintenance projects that will be required above the ongoing year-to-year general maintenance of the platforms and surface lots.

 

The committee's ultimate goal, Banda said, is to eliminate the SAD as soon as fiscally prudent.

 

"In year one, the SAD was for $255,000 which was levied proportionately to the property owners within the district that didn't have the required parking on their own properties. The second year, the SAD was reduced by 25 percent, to $187,500," he said. "The committee is requesting that a third year amount be reduced again, this time by 33 percent."

 

The proposed levy for the district would be $125,000 in the third year, or about $55 per parking space for the property owners who lack parking on their sites.

 

The PAC also is recommending increasing parking permit fees from $20 per month to $25 per month, due to the demand for the passes. Banda said the city initially charged $40 per month for the passes, but response was weak. The city then dropped the price to $20 per month, at which point the city sold out almost instantly.

 

Banda said the proposed permit fee of $25 is still below other cities, citing Birmingham's monthly fee of $80 per month and Royal Oak's fee of $60 per month.

 

If the proposed requests are approved, they would go into effect on April 1. Council on Monday unanimously approved setting a public hearing for the proposal to be held at its March 26 council meeting.

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