Downtown Business Group Frustrated Over Parking Garage Use

The Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Area is using a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to look at the costs of running the Pelissier Street Parking garage.

They requested information back to 2012 on the costs of operation and the source of revenue.

On the balance sheet the cost to operate the garage was almost $500,000 with revenue of less than $300,000.  

By 2016 that had improved to expenses of under $400,000 and revenue over $330,000 for a shortfall of about $70,000.

But DWBIA Chair Larry Horwitz is concerned about the number of municipal employees using the garage at heavily subsidized rates.

AM800-News-Pelissier-Street-Parking-Garage-Nov2016

Pelissier St. parking garage (AM800 file photo)

He says that number doesn't make sense against the city's stated objective for the garage: "to say the reason you can't sell the garage and you've got to get rid of the retail spaces because there's a huge need for parking for all the new students coming downtown when in fact the parking garage is being used by the city as a holding location for city workers"

He says if those city employees paid the regular rate it would generate close to $140,000 dollars more revenue.

The FOI found there are 190 city workers using the parking structure at $20 a month when the rates are $80 - $90 a month for anybody else and there's a waiting list.

He says there needs to be accountability and the councillors and the mayor need to be asked these questions.

Just this week council rejected a proposal for a group of business people to purchase the parking structure.