Looking at BPA numbers (1)

(93rd in a series of posts on parking)

Let’s look at the “pro forma” presented at the July 2 City Council meeting to support the BPA’s ability to carry a private loan for construction of the $16.8m Polk Street Garage.

BPA Presentation – 7-2-19 – City Council – DRAFT

Here are some of the things that Gadfly’s thinking about browsing the document:

  • Note two “scenarios”: 1) the financial bottom line with an increase in fines in tandem with the increase in meter rates that occurred in January and 2) the financial bottom line without an increase.
  • The rather surprising conclusion is that the fine increases are not necessary to service the private loan debt.
  • One wonders, then, how strongly the BPA will push for the proposed increase in the fine structure.
  • The BPA indicates it will push for the fine increases for “policy” reasons — there is an industry standard for the relationship between meter rates and fines and higher fines help increase curbside turnover that is good for business.
  • Logically, commonsensically, violations need to incur a substantial financial penalty to do their work.
  • But, again, the fine money is not needed for the loan.
  • Parenthetically, Gadfly has sensed no hue and cry among the parking populace about the 50% rise in meter rates January 1 nor has there been dire catastrophe, as predicted, in the past six months from not raising the penalty rates.
  • As far as Gadfly can tell, the public has been comfortable with the rise in meter rates and would presumably be so with a rise in fines.
  • Which is not to say that those with budget oversight should ignore the situation.
  • Focus on line 31 “Parking violations — total” in both scenarios and focus on column 4 — 2021 — the probable first year of PSG operation.
  • In scenario 1, with a fine increase the revenue is $1,494,638.
  • In scenario 2, without a fine increase the revenue is $1,450,296.
  • The difference is $44,342.
  • Barely a blip in an estimated revenue budget that year of $7,396,635.
  • On p. 73 of the Desman Parking Study, we find that raising the fine structure would have an “Estimated Revenue Impact: $400,000 annually.”
  • How does that square with $44,342?

One thought on “Looking at BPA numbers (1)

  1. You say ‘Gadfly has sensed no hue and cry among the parking populace about the 50% rise in meter rates January 1…’. I’ve heard many people mocking Bethlehem’s high meter rates. Is a ‘hue and cry’ required?

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