Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Control of Harrisburg‘s parking garages will remain local, and annual revenues into the city’s coffers will increase millions over current figures under the terms of the long-term lease of parking assets being negotiated by the city’s state-appointed receiver, according to multiple sources close to the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak on the record.
Leasing the assets directly to an outside for-profit operation, as had originally been planned, raised concerns within the city that parking rates could increase out-of-control to boost profits while the assets themselves could languish and degrade in the hands of a company with no long-term interest in the welfare of the city.
What’s more, according to multiple sources, the on-going financial plight of Harrisburg and fluctuations in the bond market made private bond financing less attractive to the companies originally interested in such a deal.
All parking on City Island will be open starting tomorrow. The North Lot (611 spaces) was cleared today. The South Lot reopened on Tuesday. City Island has approximately 1400 parking spaces between both lots and the garage. City Island parking was closed for nearly a week after Tropical Storm Lee flooded portions of Harrisburg.
Harrisburg Controller, Dan Miller revealed his plan this morning (as promised) for Harrisburg to avoid bankruptcy from the incinerator debacle.
The major points are:
Turn over control of the incinerator to Dauphin County thereby giving Dauphin County the $5.5 million dollars needed to apply toward the incinerator debt from the operating profits.
The City of Harrisburg would apply its annual profits from city parking garages and surface lots, approximately $4.5 million dollars, to the incinerator debt.
Negotiate lower interest rates from bond holders with the promise that the principal will be paid.
Dauphin County Commissioners would raise the tipping fees for non-city residents who pay LESS than city residents (what’s wrong with this picture?).
Future revenue could also be gained from increased incinerator use and higher parking rates.
The painful part will be the city would have to make up the $4.5 million dollars they are no longer getting from the parking authority (can anyone say spending cuts?).
Sounds like this plan has a chance of working and if it can avoid Harrisburg’s bankruptcy, I say full speed ahead. Hopefully all interested parties will do what is right and put politics aside at this time!