In a half dozen different items published since early February 2013, The Chronicle has reported incorrectly the percentage of gross parking system revenues received by the city of Ann Arbor under the terms of its contract with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. The correct figure is 17%. [.pdf of contract ratified on May 27, 2011 by the DDA] The erroneously reported additional half percent translates to roughly $95,000 annually. We note the errors here, and have corrected the mistake in previous reporting – most recently the city council meeting held on March 4, 2013.
Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board meeting (June 1, 2011): At its regular monthly meeting, the DDA board performed the annual exercise of revising its budget to match actual expenditures for the fiscal year, which ends June 30. It was the only item on the agenda requiring a vote, which was unanimous. The DDA’s FY 2011 budget showed $23,038,310 in expenses against $19,111,321 in total income.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the board also recapped the previous night’s session of the Ann Arbor city council, which had been a continuation of the meeting that began on May 16. At that meeting, the council had finally ratified its side of a new contract under which the DDA would continue to manage the city’s public parking system.
Key elements of that contract include a transfer to the city of Ann Arbor of 17% of annual gross parking revenues, reporting requirements by the city to the DDA about parking enforcement and street repair, and the ability of the DDA to set parking rates and hours without a city council veto.
The DDA board will likely schedule an extended board meeting in September to prepare for a contractually-required joint working session with the city council, which will include a discussion of parking rates and hours of enforcement.
Included in the usual range of the DDA’s reports from its committees was a review of a recent partnerships committee meeting, when DDA board members began to consider how they would handle the responsibility to plan future uses of city-owned surface parking lots downtown. The DDA was given that responsibility in a city council resolution passed at the council’s April 4, 2011 meeting.
At the May 31, 2011 session of its meeting that had begun two weeks before, on May 16, the Ann Arbor city council voted to ratify its side of a contract with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority to continue to manage the city’s public parking system. The contract would transfer 17% of the parking system’s gross revenues to the city. An amendment offered by Sabra Briere (Ward 1) to retain a veto for the city council on parking rates failed on a 2-9 vote, getting support only from Briere and Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3).
The vote on the contract was unanimous.
The DDA had ratified its side of the deal at a special meeting convened last Friday, May 27. The contract, which has now been ratified by both the city and the DDA, would give the DDA the sole authority to set parking rates. Under the old contract, the DDA proposed rate changes, which were then automatically enacted unless the city council acted to veto them. The new contract requires consultation by the DDA with the city on parking rate changes.
As part of the contract, the city council also approved an “underwriting” or “backstopping” clause to the contract, which is to run over an initial 11-year term, with one 11-year renewal option. Key features of that clause include: (1) it’s applicable only through 2016; (2) it’s triggered if combined the DDA fund balance falls below $1 million; (3) the trigger is evaluated based on the annual audit of DDA books in September or October, for the previous fiscal year; (4) if underwriting were triggered, it would take the form of reducing existing payments that the DDA makes to the city; (5) the city’s liability is limited to $1 million annually and $2 million cumulatively; and (6) any money the city is deprived of through this underwriting would be restored to the city, at whatever point the DDA’s cumulative fund balance reaches $4 million.
During the parking contract discussion, Kunselman did not offer a planned resolution that would have amended the city’s fiscal year 2012 budget by transferring the balance in the DDA’s parking fund to the city, eliminating two DDA employees, and using the proceeds of that move to fund police officer positions.
This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall. located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]