Mayor Domenic J. Sarno today made the first of several upcoming parking announcements regarding the advances in the management of parking under the Springfield Parking Authority (SPA) that have resulted in immediate savings to the taxpayers and the city budget.
“Just as we do with our city budget we continue to examine each and every facet of how parking is managed and operated in the city to deliver improved service to our patrons at a better cost,” said Mayor Sarno. “We really wanted to take a thorough look at where savings could be achieved without impacting the parkers experience or cost out of their pocket and these changes achieve that,” said Sarno.
The Mayor thanked the Office of Planning & Economic Development led by Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy and Christopher Moskal of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority for undertaking the full review of the operations and finances. They, along with a working group of SPA Board of Directors, Chaired by Attorney Mary McNally, and staff, worked diligently on identifying cost saving and operations measurements, and looking at new ways to improve service and value to customers.
“The SPA Board and the city both agreed it is time that the parking authority be utilized as an economic development asset,” said Kennedy. “We’ve been able to reduce costs and offer new businesses coming into the city and existing businesses that are expanding great value and service in parking.”
Under the full examination of the authority’s finances ordered by Mayor Sarno, the SPA identified potential savings in the refinancing of existing debt. The SPA has issued and closed on $5,050,000 in revenue bonds that will have a dramatic effect on stabilizing the financial and capital needs of the SPA over the next 10 years, and will save approximately $730,000 per year. The bonds were purchased by First Niagara Bank for a term of 10 years at a fixed interest rate of 4%.
In addition, the SPA and the City executed an amendment to the contract for on-street parking management and enforcement that will result in an annual savings to the city of $449,361.
Mayor Sarno has directed the operations portion of the review to focus its efforts on the delivery of safe, clean garages and improved access for cultural and entertainment event parking. Additional announcements regarding progress in those and other areas in parking are expected in the near future.