City to DDA: We’d Like More Parking Money

At its April 19, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council instructed its “mutually beneficial” committee – which is currently renegotiating a new contract under which the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority would continue to operate the city’s public parking system – to change its position, by escalating its request for additional parking revenues. The council voted to direct the committee to now ask the DDA for 18% of gross parking revenues in each year of a 10-year contract. The vote was 9-2, with dissent from Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) and Sandi Smith (Ward 1).

The city’s negotiating team had previously been insisting that in the first two years of a 10-year contract, 16% of gross revenues to the public parking system would be allocated for use by the city at its discretion, with that amount rising to 17.5% of gross revenues in remaining years.

The DDA’s position had been consistent with the city’s previous request for the first two years of the contract, which would have the city withdrawing 16% of gross revenues from the public parking system in each of those years. But the DDA’s position is that for remaining years of the contract, the city’s share of gross parking revenues should remain at 16% instead of rising to 17.5%.

The city’s chief financial officer, Tom Crawford, said on the flat-16% scenario, he would recommend cutting four police or firefighters this year and two additional police or firefighters next year – the first two years of the proposed parking contract.

The decision to bring a resolution of instruction to the council had come at a meeting between the respective mutually beneficial committees of the city council and the DDA on Monday morning, April 11. [For detailed previous coverage: "City, DDA Continue to Talk Parking, Taxes"]

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron St. A more detailed report will follow: [link]