Declining parking revenues in Red Deer create deficit – Red Deer Advocate
The pandemic and the loss of downtown Red Deer students have contributed to a growing loss of parking revenue in the city.
Planning Director General Tara Lodewyk told City Council that a deficit of $ 152,000 is forecast for parking operations for 2020. Added to a previously accumulated deficit, this means the total deficit will reach $ 279,000. by December 31.
She said the situation is caused by a loss of parking revenue and the need to continue repaying two outstanding loans for the construction of the downtown parking lot in 2009.
“The debentures have strained reserves. Initially there was money in the parking reserve, but over time that ran out, ”Lodewyk said.
This year, Red Deer’s parking revenues have suffered two big hits: the removal of parking fees at the start of the pandemic and the relocation of DRC from its business school to the main downtown campus.
Lodewyk noted that many business students previously used the downtown parking lot and that income is now being lost.
She hopes the city will eventually earn parking revenue from the opening of the new Justice Center in a few years, bringing more motorists downtown.
Meanwhile, she recommends that the city council include this deficit in general expenses, to be covered by taxes.
Lodewyk also presented two other options to the council: allow the parking lot to remain autonomous, with an internal loan covering the deficit; and with taxpayers paying the first parking loan and using a MOST grant from the government to cover the remaining $ 800,000.
But Johnston suggested a fourth option: that the matter be postponed until early 2021 to allow the administration to report to the board on exploring possibilities for refinancing parking loans.
The Council supported the review of the situation after the presentation of the fourth option next year.
Red Deer City Council