Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 2, 2014

Vote on first step of overhauling Falls' parking system set for Monday

Niagara Gazette — Mayor Paul Dyster is again trying to move forward a plan to overhaul the city’s downtown parking system in an effort to increase revenue for the city.

Dyster is asking the city council to approve the allocation of $95,000 in casino revenues to hire Desman Associates, a consulting firm that has already produced a parking study for the city, to oversee the implementation of the parking system overhaul.

Dyster said the new system, which can be paid for entirely with casino revenues, would allow the city to boost parking revenues.

“Desman’s study suggest that we could be bringing in a significant amount of revenues from parking if we make some changes to the system,” the mayor said.

Dyster introduced a measure last September that would have allocated $1 million in casino revenues for the implementation of the new parking system, but it failed in a 3-2 vote with Councilman Glenn Choolokian, Councilman Robert Anderson, Jr. and former Councilman Sam Fruscione voting the item down.

Council Chairman Charles Walker and Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti voted yes to the measure.

Dyster said he was always planning on introducing an agenda item to hire Desman but instead proposed the allocation of funds for the implementation of the plan last fall for budgetary purposes.

Had that measure been approved he would have put stronger revenue projections for parking in the 2014 budget. Because the budget planning process is months away the city can hire the consultants first and ask for approval of the money to implement the parking plan later, Dyster said.

Desman would review and update the parking plan they first presented to the city two years ago, oversee the hiring of a parking program coordinator for the city, oversee the procurement and installation of new parking equipment for downtown streets and the city parking garage and choose a service operator for the new parking system, according to a letter to the city from the company.

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