Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board meeting (Feb. 1, 2012): In the one agenda item that required formal action, the DDA board unanimously voted to award an annual management incentive to Republic Parking, the contractor that manages day-to-day operations of the city’s parking system.
The amount of the award was 90% of the total amount the board could have awarded –$45,000 of $50,000. It’s the same amount the board has awarded in each of the last three years. It’s based on a variety of criteria, including customer satisfaction surveys, independent inspections of the parking facilities, and financial performance.
February’s meeting also included a review of the DDA’s finances at the mid-point of the fiscal year – through Dec. 31, 2011. The DDA’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Operations committee chair Roger Hewitt sketched out a picture that portrayed things unfolding pretty much as expected. Although parking revenues are currently about $125,000 under the year-to-date budgeted amount, parking revenues are projected to finish the year at around $672,536 over the budgeted amount. The gross parking revenue now anticipated for FY 2012 is around $16.8 million. But capital costs associated with the new Fifth Avenue parking garage construction are anticipated to put the parking fund expenses over budget.
Part of that parking system revenue will come from rate increases and changes in billing methods, which were approved by the board at its Jan. 4, 2012 meeting. Some of the changes will not be implemented until September 2012 – like hourly rates at parking structures and lots, which will climb from $1.10 per hour to $1.20 per hour.
But other changes were implemented starting Feb. 1, including a change in the billing method at parking structures and hourly lots – from half-hourly to hourly. The board heard criticism of the change during public commentary, from a resident who makes frequent but brief trips downtown as a patron of the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library. The billing change amounts to a “surcharge” on his library use of a couple hundred dollars a year, he said.
The board also heard a pitch from the developer of the 618 S. Main project, Dan Ketelaar, who is interested in financing certain elements of the project through the state’s Community Revitalization Program. That’s the successor to the state’s brownfield and historic preservation tax credit program.
The 618 S. Main project, which received a positive planning commission recommendation on Jan. 19, would be a 7-story, 153,133-square-foot apartment building with 190 units for 231 bedrooms. The idea would be for the DDA to forgo a portion of the taxes that it would ordinarily capture on the newly constructed 618 S. Main project. The DDA captures taxes from the increment in value due to new construction within its tax increment authority (TIF) district.
The board also heard a pitch from Jody Lanning, with Lanning Outdoor Advertising, for a way to finance murals on the city’s parking structures and other public buildings. The board also entertained its usual set of updates from boards and commissions.