Tucson may redirect ParkWise funds to buy new parking gear

2013-02-18T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T11:19:42Z Tucson may redirect ParkWise funds to buy new parking gearBecky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

City officials are considering shifting $2 million out of a restricted ParkWise savings fund so the parking agency can buy new equipment.

The city previously said ParkWise couldn't spend that money on anything except future debt payments on downtown Tucson parking garages, but agency officials say ParkWise urgently needs new equipment.

While nothing is decided yet, Deputy Transportation Director Carlos de Leon said he is in talks with the city Finance Department about loosening the restrictions on the ParkWise savings.

After learning money could be made available, ParkWise leaders came up with a $3.7 million wish list that can be whittled down.

The list was outlined to ParkWise commissioners at a committee meeting Friday.

Equipment at ParkWise garages is in disrepair, but the agency has been getting by with borrowed equipment and occasional fixes, although some of the equipment is so old replacement parts are getting scarce, ParkWise administrator Donovan Durband told the commissioners.

On some occasions, Durband said, equipment has been borrowed from one garage to keep another operating until repairs could be made.

The committee, which includes ParkWise commissioners Nicole Flowers, Jane McCollum and Adam Weinstein, is just beginning to evaluate new systems for garages, plus new parking meters, computers and vehicles for enforcement officers that could be paid for with the formerly restricted cash.

New equipment such as parking meters that accept credit cards could increase revenue, McCollum and Weinstein said.

The extra money could be used to make the future debt payments, and ParkWise is considering a number of other budget changes, including a change in meter rates, de Leon said.

Once the capital-spending plan is completed by the committee, it would need to be approved by the full ParkWise Commission and the City Council.

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at bpallack@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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