City of Winchester Parking Authority met July 26
City of Winchester Parking Authority met July 26.
Here is the minutes provided by the Authority:
Dick Helm, Howard Manheimer & Ben Weber
Mike Miller & William Armstrong
Corey MacKnight, Teresa Couch, Shawn Hershberger & Frank Kollmansperger
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Helm called the meeting to order at 7:35 a.m. at which time it was determined that a quorum was present.
II. REVIEW OF MAY & JUNE 2018 MEETING MINUTES
The minutes for May & June 2018 were submitted by Chairman Helm and, without objection, were unanimously approved.
III. PARKING DIVISION MANAGER'S REPORT FOR JUNE 2018
Macknight reported the following:
• The total parking revenues collected from GW, Court Square, and Braddock Autoparks during Rockin' Independence Eve was $2,635. Loudoun Autopark remained under normal operations for the event. Parking revenues collected during this event in 2017 totaled $3,180. WPA obtained Kelly Services to provide staffing for money collections in the lanes during the event. Parking operations went well however; staffing from Kelly Services did not present themselves in a professional manner. The staff arrived to work poorly dressed and police did question their legitimacy for money collections due to staffing attire and unprofessional behavior. WPA did provide the staff with safety vests prior to working the event. WPA has decided to discontinue the use of Kelly Services for parking operations staffing during special events.
Consolidated Electric has reviewed the electrical systems at Braddock Autopark and has rewired several items to meet code standards. Repairs included the replacement of the contactor box due to several corrupted contactors, installation of photo sensor to control lighting necessity and the removal of several outlets and aged lights that were operational but are not required for use.
New reserved signage to improve upon the identification of the 24/7 red block rental spaces has been installed. WPA is hopeful this will alleviate ongoing issues with transient customers parking in those yearly contract spaces.
MacKnight reported that WPA currently has approximately 131 mechanical meters still in operation. Obtaining parts and contracting repairs for the mechanical meters has become obsolete. The digital meters that are currently in use are being phased out by the industry over the next year in which replacement parts and programming equipment will become obsolete as well. MacKnight stated that WPA will begin to solicit pricing to replace its current inventory of meters with meter upgrades that will sustain operations for the next 5 to 15 years. The average purchase price for a new meter is approximately $210 each. MacKnight reported that the estimate to replace the remaining mechanical meters will cost approximately $30,000. WPA has budgeted monies to cover this expense. WPA can still purchase the digital meters it currently uses refurbished for approximately $65 each if the need should arise.
MacKnight reported that he has reviewed with office staff the rental contracts and procedures for the rental of the blue and red block reserved spaces at Braddock Autopark. MacKnight expressed that WPA would like to discuss the possible restructuring of the leased block parking spaces at this garage.
IV. REVENUE REPORT FOR JUNE 2018 (Quarterly)
Helm reported the grand revenue total for June 2018 was $117,910, an increase of $17,371 or 17% in comparison to June 2017. Total hourly revenue for June 2018 was $36.773, an increase of $11,584 or 46% in comparison to June 2017. Rent revenue for June 2018 was $43, 140, a decrease of $268 or -1% in comparison to June 2017. Total meters, fines and Parkmobile revenues for June 2018 was $37,697, an increase of $5,917 or 19% in comparison to June 2017. There was no miscellaneous revenue to report for June 2018. Validation coupon revenue for June 2018 was $300, an increase of $138 or 85% in comparison to June 2017. Total hourly parking tickets for June 2018 was 18,012 displaying an increase of 3,750 tickets in comparison to the previous month. At the end of June 2018, there were 1,016 spaces or 73% total utilization of spaces being rented at all four parking garages with a total of 384 spaces available for rent. Of the 384 spaces available for rent, 244 spaces were located on the roof and 140 spaces were located undercover. Garage breakdown of available spaces for rent were as follows: Loudoun Autopark equaled 122 spaces, Braddock Autopark equaled 26 spaces, Court Square Autopark equaled 120 spaces and GW Autopark equaled 116 spaces. At the end of June 2018 the total revenue for FY 2018 was $1,311,278 or 10% in comparison to the previous fiscal year. The total number of Parkmobile transactions for June 2018 totaled 2,103, an increase of 350 transactions from the previous month.
The total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $373,270, an increase of $51,716 or 16% in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2017. Total meter and fine revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $94,686, an increase of $12,571 or 15% in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2017. Total hourly revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $127,057, an increase of $31,298 or 33% in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2017. Total rent revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $144,737, an increase of $8,249 or 6% in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2017.
The total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $525. an increase of $525 in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2017. Total validation coupon revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $1,600, an increase of $63 or 4% in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2017. SABF reserved ticket revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $4,665, a decrease of $990 or -18% in comparison to SABF reserved ticket revenue reported for the fourth quarter of 2017.
Helm noted that revenues for the month of June 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2018 were very satisfactory with the month of June having increased revenues of $17,000. Manheimer noted that Braddock Autopark revenues are increasing as expected due to the implementation of the hourly rate increase to $1.00 per hour. Helm added that Braddock Autopark revenues are a contributing factor to the overall steady revenue increases. Weber noted that fine revenues appear to have increased as well. Manheimer stated that the meter and fine revenues appeared inaccurate as it should be expected to have increased more than is showing due to the hiring of an additional meter enforcement officer. MacKnight explained that fine revenues and meter collections have exhibited a steady increase partly due to the hiring of two meter enforcement officers however; those increases should begin to level off as the public becomes accustomed to the revised WPA enforcement practices. Weber noted that the public has taken notice of the additional staff for parking enforcement and will adapt accordingly thus resulting in the decline of fine revenues over time.
Manheimer questioned the necessity of having hired a second part time meter enforcement officer and added that WPA is now issuing tickets in areas and at times that it did not previously do before. MacKnight explained that having two enforcement officers on duty will result in additional revenues due to the increase of meter violations being written. MacKnight added that WPA is earning enough monies to cover the expense of hiring the part time enforcement officer. MacKnight explained that this was not an additional hire but a repurposing of the previous position of part time Maintenance Tech. 1 over to meter enforcement staff. MacKnight stated that the meter enforcement staff has endured much verbal harassment and was surprised and pleased that both employees have continued to remain on the job despite this. MacKnight stated that if in time it proves to be nonbeneficial for WPA to have the second part time meter enforcement officer in place, than WPA will reconsider the decision.
Weber noted that WPA can always expect a consistency of a certain number of fines to be collected. Helm noted that Parkmobile revenues are increasing in addition to the increases in fines adding that the convenience of the Parkmobile application has proved successful. Helm added that the public has experienced problems with using Parkmobile due to customer error of imputing the wrong meter number or license plate number for their transaction. MacKnight acknowledged that mistakes do occur with Parkmobile and with the issuance of meter violations at times however; WPA does resolve each problem accordingly and the public is adapting to the enforcement practices.
V. OLD BUSINESS
1. Parking Spaces In Front of 218 & 216 N. Braddock St. Update
MacKnight informed the Authority that the prior "no parking drop off area" signage at this location has been removed and meters have now been installed and are in operation. Helm asked if any complaints have been expressed due to this decision to which MacKnight replied no.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
1. Digital Meter Replacement Update & Discussion
MacKnight informed the Authority that WPA is still actively soliciting pricing for digital meter replacements. Weber asked if this was due to the continued lack of attention from Whitaker Parking Systems in addressing and repairing problems with the parking equipment. MacKnight replied while this was a separate issue, WPA is still experiencing daily problems with the paystation equipment such as non-acceptance of credit card transactions and poor service from Whitaker Parking Systems. Manheimer asked how WPA is addressing its customers who are experiencing problems with exiting the garages. MacKnight replied that in these situations customers are encouraged to use cash if possible or are allowed to exit at no charge via the on call phone service.
MacKnight informed the Authority that current programming technology for meters has begun to not support the use of various coinages as options for payment. WPA is soliciting pricing to upgrade to new digital meters with programming that can sustain for the next 5 years. WPA is attempting to obtain at least three quotes from companies. MacKnight added that he has spoken with Civic Smart about the smart meter which has the capability to activate certain technologies such as sim card use if so desired. Pricing for the smart meter is $210 each. MacKnight noted that he will research if a company can be found that is willing to buy back the outdated meters in exchange for the purchase of the newer models. Helm asked if it was possible for WPA to remain aligned with the technological advances being made in the meter industry. MacKnight replied that technology is always progressing and it is very difficult to sustain however, the goal is to purchase equipment that will endure for at least 5 years. Manheimer asked if meter domes are continuing to fog up to which Macknight replied yes. MacKnight added that WPA has tried different methods to alleviate this problem but none thus far has worked well. MacKnight stated that if meter enforcement staff cannot read the time on meters due to fogging of the domes, they do not write tickets at that meter location.
2. Block Parking Structure at Braddock Autopark Discussion
MacKnight informed the Authority that WPA has experienced problems with parking in the red 24/7 block and the blue 6 am.to 6 pm. block rental spaces at Braddock Autopark. The rental structure at the capacity operated garage consists of a 3 tier system of options for space rentals: the non-reserved space option that requires a month to month contract at $50 per month, the blue 6 am.to 6 pm. block option with specific space numbers issued that requires a yearly contract at $55 per month and the reserved red 24/7 block option with specific space numbers issued that requires a yearly contract at $60 per month. Rental customers who choose to pay more money for the red or blue block option are becoming increasingly disgruntled with the public parking in their spaces. WPA does not have the capability to monitor the block spaces effectively. MacKnight informed the Authority that police can issue parking violation tickets for these incidents after hours or on weekends if the monthly renter calls to report. WPA has installed improved signage with hope that this will alert transient customers and others to not park in these areas of the garage but it is not alone a preventative measure. MacKnight noted that during normal business hours WPA meter enforcement staff does issue tickets for these violations if the monthly renter chooses to call the main office to complain and report. This is the only option WPA has for management of these specific spaces at this time.
Manheimer asked if WPA has noticed a problem with monthly renters of the red or blue block spaces parking on the ground level. MacKnight replied that it is not fully known if or how often these abuses may occur due to the garage operating as automated and not staffed. MacKnight explained to the Authority that the monthly rental customers who pay a premium price for their spaces become rightfully upset if a vehicle is parked in their space. WPA has reminded these rental customers of specific space availability limitations listed within their rental agreement for events, etc. however, this is not resolving the issue. MacKnight stated that he has discussed this situation with WPA office staff. The office staff has suggested due to the inability to properly manage and effectively guarantee specific space availability, that the Authority remove the red and blue block space rental options and establish that all rental spaces at Braddock Autopark be non-reserved at the rate of $55 per month with a month to month contract.
Manheimer asked that if all reserved space availability is guaranteed at $55 per month, does the parking system still allow vehicles to enter the garage if it is full to
capacity. MacKnight replied yes that does occur because the current parking control system in place cannot close the garage to transient customers only and allow for monthly parkers only to enter if it becomes full to capacity. MacKnight asked that
the Authority consider a decision on this matter as the yearly lease agreements for the red and blue block rental space customers are coming due on September 1, 2018.
Helm acknowledged that the Authority knew there would be monitoring issues with the red and blue block spaces which is why WPA applied yearly lease agreements for these spaces as a type of deterrent. Helm reminded the Authority that at the time it was decided to transition to capacity operations at Braddock Autopark, many of the existing monthly renters expressed dissatisfaction with not having a specific space number. The red and blue block spaces were created as an appeasement measure for those rental customers and were offered at a premium rate. Manheimer asked what the benefit would be to the rental customer to have a specific space designated just for themselves, it should be sufficient to just have a space to park their vehicle. MacKnight agreed. Helm stated that sometimes customers want to park in a specific space therefore; if WPA continues to offer the red and blue block rental options, it will need to somehow find a way to manage it via towing, etc. MacKnight expressed he is hopeful that the new signage that was installed will help with the issue however; customers do not tend to fully adhere to parking restrictions via signage alone. Helm stated that WPA has provided adequate signage that explains the parking restrictions therefore it is the public's responsibility to read and obey the signs. Helm added that WPA has to uphold its obligation to its rental customers by using enforcement measures when necessary. Helm stated that WPA received enough expressed interest for specific parking spaces that it should continue to provide the red and blue block rental options at Braddock Autopark. Helm stated that WPA should continue to provide parking enforcement of these spaces to the best of its ability before deciding to make the transition to all non-reserved spaces.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:11 a.m. The next meeting of the Winchester Parking Authority is scheduled for Thursday August 23, 2018 at 7:30 a.m. in the Conference Room at the Winchester Parking Authority Main Office located in the George Washington Autopark.