Chicago Parking Meters Bills City $13.5 Million For Disabled Parking
At a press conference on Tuesday, Emanuel had some strong words about the subject.
“I just don’t write blank checks to companies that say that’s what we owe. I’m gonna be the taxpayer watchdog,” the mayor said Tuesday. “Now, they may say that’s what we owe. But, just because they submit it doesn’t mean that’s what we’re gonna pay. We’re contesting that right now in a series of discussions with the company.”
Here’s the Sun-Times story.
Original post below.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
When the Daley administration pushed through the contract to privatize Chicago’s parking meters in just 72 hours, three years ago this month, critics warned of the unforeseen consequences of a deal which saw almost no scrutiny from the public and City Council members.
One of those expensive consequences can be seen in today’s Sun-Times report that Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, the private firm which signed the 75-year lease to operate city parking meters for $1.16 billion in 2008 has recently submitted a bill to the city for $13.5 million.
Under the terms of the lease, CPM can bill the city for lost revenue due to an overabundance of drivers utilizing handicap license plates or disabled parking placards parking for free on metered streets.
CPM claims the company lost $17.9 million due to giving away free parking to those with handicap plates or placards. Under the formula outlined in the contract, the city is only allowed $4.4 million in these freebies. The city is on the hook for the balance.
The Sun-Times says Mayor Rahm Emanuel is contesting that number and the city believes the number is substantially lower. Sources tell this website the Law Department is currently negotiating with CPM on a lower amount.
As further testament to how one-sided the meter lease contract was crafted, the city has to rely on a survey of handicapped parking performed by CPM itself–not an independent third party auditor which could be better trusted to unbiasedly document drivers parking for free.
Here’s the Sun-Times full story, “Meter company sends city $13.5 million bill for disabled parking.”