City approves changes to Washington Ave. Parking Benefit District

Jul. 7, 2014Heights Leader

The Washington Ave. Parking Benefit District won’t have to wait as long to see the fruits of the program improve the corridor.

The Benefit District, which started last year with the installation of 54 meters for 253 parking spaces along Washington Ave., asked for some adjustments to the program from the city council.

0531_washington_ave_parking Originally, the plan detailed that the Benefit District must reach a threshold of $250,000 before it could use the funds on any neighborhood projects such as adding continuous sidewalks, benches, and landscaping. The city council approved reducing that threshold to $125,000, which means the projects can start this fall because that’s how much revenue was generated in the program’s first year.

The Benefit District will meet on Aug. 12 at the West End Multi-Service Center to prioritize the projects they’d like to see, said chairman Phyllis Thomason.

Thomason said the meetings are open to the public, and citizen input is encouraged.

The city also approved the sharing of expenses between’s the City’s Parking Management Department and the Benefit District. The expenses are comprised of operational costs to the meters and the employment of two enforcement officers.

Last year, the Benefit District had to pay 100 percent of the $91,800.

The new arrangement has the city paying 45 percent of the expenses, and the Benefit District paying 55 percent. The city could decide to change those percentages on an annual basis.

“Being more of a partner, city is realizing how much more fair it is to set it up this way,” Thomason said.

After expenses, the district gets 60 percent of the funds, and the city gets 40.