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Parking Authority ends Dec. 2018

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

The Pembroke Parking Authority will fold at the end of 2018.

The Pembroke Parking Authority will fold at the end of 2018.

The meter is running out for the Pembroke Parking Authority.

On Tuesday, the city's planning and development committee voted to disband the body once it has completed its current term of office, which wraps up Dec. 31, 2018.

The parking authority oversees and makes recommendations to council on parking operations and programs, including on and off-street parking facilities, meter rates and administration. The committee also makes recommendations on new or revised parking by-laws, policies and guidelines, passing these on to the planning and development committee which then makes a recommendation to city council.

Colleen Sauriol, planning and building department manager, said over the past four years, there have been major changes to the structure of the parking authority. She said the authority used to have two contract staff positions which handled parking enforcement and other duties, but in January 2016, these positions were eliminated and replaced with two full-time bylaw enforcement officers, who are now city employees.

Sauriol said the parking authority committee itself has struggled with quorum issues. Since January 2016, there were five meetings that did not have enough members present to conduct the meeting. Prior to January 2016, the committee had reduced its monthly meetings to once every two months.

“Based on these issues, there may not be a need for the parking authority committee,” Sauriol said.

“The parking bylaw would still be upheld by the bylaw enforcement officers. Parking issues could be dealt with by the planning and development committee,” she said.

Sauriol told the committee if the parking authority committee was disbanded, it would reduce the decision-making time to deal with a parking issue, as there would be only one recommending body instead of two.

“Also, the planning and development committee meets monthly instead of every two months like the parking authority,” she said, meaning a faster turnaround when it comes to parking issues.

There would be a savings from parking authority audit fees which are approximately $1,600 per year, as well as the city having direct control of the parking reserve fund, which as of December 2016 sits at $105,021.

Sauriol said they can maintain that reserve to maintain or enhance parking in the city. She suggested three possible projects: pave the remainder of the 50 parking spaces in the Cockburn Parking lot and the driveway along the south side of the parking lot at an approximate cost of $30,400; create a parking lot at 258-270 Pembroke Street West, which is the old Balloons of the Valley location; or repave the Market Square Parking Lot at an approximate cost of $38,255.

Sauriol said creating a new parking lot on Pembroke Street would mean hiring a consultant to design the parking lot due to grading issues and the need for a retaining wall along the rear lot line of the property. The cost to construct this parking lot would be provided by the consultant at that time. 

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