Kamloops residents won’t get to petition against the purchase of 90 wireless parking kiosks downtown.
Because City council voted Tuesday to take out a five-year loan instead of one over 10 years, the alternative approval process that’s required for large-scale borrowing doesn’t apply.
City finance director Sally Edwards said Wednesday the municipality is allowed to take out short-term loans to a maximum of $50 per resident. For Kamloops, that cap comes in around $4 million.
The City is borrowing the $1.7 million for the kiosks at a Municipal Finance Authority rate of about 2.25 per cent. The revenue that comes from increased parking rates to cover the cost of the loan, as parking rates double from 50 cents an hour to $1.
The amount to be paid on the principle and interest every year on that five-year loan is $352,116. At the end of that period, interest costs will be more than $60,000.
Had council voted to take out a 10-year loan, the interest rate would have been four per cent and interest costs would have totalled about $390,000. An alternative approval process would have allowed those opposed to collect signatures against the borrowing.
Frank Dwyer of the Kamloops Voters Society attended the public meeting on the parking options and watched Tuesday as council approved the new kiosks.
The society’s role is to lobby for public input. The City opened the issue up to the public, which was a good move, he said.
“The KVS policy was we don’t take a stand on the issue, we just want to see a better process. And to the credit of the City, they did that.”
KVS successfully sought signatures against borrowing for a proposed downtown parkade at the Riverside Park parking lot by Heritage House — a case where the alternative approval process succeeded.
Dwyer said he personally feels the technology is still too new and council should have waited a while to see it proved out before buying in.
“I would have liked to see a little more cautious approach. I hope the public bidding process will be open to see why whoever is chosen got the job,” he said.
He’s not opposed to a parkade (depending on the location) but wants to see incentives to get people downtown on foot or bus rather than driving, if possible.
“I’m not opposed to technology. I recognize we have to do something about the downtown parking problem. And I applaud the businesses for working with the City to come up with solutions,” he said.
He was glad to see the borrowing over five years instead of 10, because it reduces the amount paid in interest. That leaves more money from parking rate increases to go into parkades and other solutions, he said.
“Something had to be done, a lot of work went into it, I applaud them for doing it, but we should all pay attention to how this unfolds.”
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THE COST OF A PARKING KIOSK
Kamloops City council voted Tuesday to install 90 automated parking kiosks downtown to replace the current, aging 850 meters.
It was a move resoundingly supported by the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association.
While there have been costs to keep the old meters working, the new technology has a price, too.
Here are some of the estimated expenses expected to come with kiosks each year:
* 90 kiosks, $13,500 each, total $1.215 million
* communication fees, $900 per unit per year, total $81,000
* credit card fees, $18,500 (50 per cent credit card transactions starts after the first year)
* warranty program, $540 per kiosk per year, total $48,600
* paper rolls, $61,500
* enforcement technician, $4,500
* automated licence-plate reading technician, $8,400
* I-pass validation, $7,500
* equipment replacement, $122,000
Total annual operating costs, $352,000 (does not include debt servicing).
Debt servicing, $352,116 for $1.7 million over five years at 2.25 per cent.
Grand total of operating plus debt: $704,116.
Here’s where the revenue to pay for the kiosks is expected to come from:
* increased parking rates, total $550,000
* increased fines, total $150,000
* time expired carry over (parking money that gets lost now because people park at meters with time remaining), total $220,000
Total expected increase in revenue: $920,000
The cost of installing the kiosks breaks down as follows:
* shipping, $4,500
* coin canisters, $20,430
* parking receipt rolls, $7,740
* signage, $40,000
* meter removal, $40,000
* automated licence recognition second patroller, $50,000
* automated licence plate live integration, $5,000
* smartphone app, $25,000
* marketing, $25,000
* contingency (about 10 per cent), $156,115
* cost of pay stations themselves, total $1,215,000
Total installation costs: $1,588,785
Grand total of installation costs: $1.7 million.