Like Morrison and Idaho Springs, Golden might have a company start managing all its parking permits, paid lots, enforcement, and related operations.
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Like Morrison and Idaho Springs, Golden might have a company start managing all its parking permits, paid lots, enforcement and related operations.
The city is asking interested companies to respond to its Request for Proposals by mid-October. The hope, staff members explained, is to sign a contract in November so the company can implement its system Jan. 1.
According to Steve Glueck, assistant to the city manager, Golden's vendor contracts with the ParkMobile app and parking kiosks operator renew each calendar year. So, terminating those contracts Dec. 31 and implementing a new system Jan. 1 would be ideal, he said.
During a Sept. 12 City Council work session, Glueck said several Colorado communities have implemented similar systems, as it cuts down on city expenses while bringing in similar or more revenues. For instance, according to the Clear Creek Courant, since Idaho Springs contracted Interstate Parking Company of Colorado in 2019, it shared revenues 50-50 with Interstate Parking taking on all the expenses.
Glueck said the city could receive proposals that would share revenues between the city and company based on a percentage or a specific dollar amount. He said staff members are open to either arrangement.
“(These companies) do in a fashion that’s more effective and customer friendly,” Glueck said. “ … They’re much more attuned to the day-to-day operations.”
The city’s current parking system is “decentralized" and is essentially “cobbled together” with different systems and vendors, he said. So, having one company handle everything would be easier for users and the city, Glueck posited.
In terms of net 2023 revenues, Glueck said the city's anticipating about $225,000 across its paid parking areas, parking tickets and residential parking permits.
On the expense side, while Glueck didn’t have an exact amount, he said the city’s biggest operational cost is code enforcement and staffing. It also operates and maintains the parking garages, surface lots and related signage; and uses license-plate reader technology and other equipment.
If Golden signs a parking management company, the contractor would be responsible for code enforcement downtown and in special permit zones. Other issues would still require Golden officers, Glueck clarified.
Ideally, he continued, having a contractor helping with parking enforcement would free up some of Golden's code enforcement officers for creek patrols and other duties. He said the division is usually short-staffed and loses a lot of seasonal personnel in August.
However, he said it's that, under a contractor system, the city might downsize its code enforcement division in the future.
'What can we do to improve?'
The City Councilors said they’ve heard a lot of complaints about its paid parking system over the years, as residents and visitors struggle to use the QR codes, download the app, and/or complete the transaction. Even though the app is supposed to remember previous users, some have complained they have to input their data each time.
“The complaints I’ve heard aren’t about the price; it’s about the transaction,” Councilor Bill Fisher said.
Thus, most of the councilors agreed staff should proceed with the RFP process. Also, while nothing was finalized, the councilors also discussed other changes to the city’s current parking system, such as how downtown employee parking permits are handled, whether downtown should be paid parking all week rather than Monday through Friday, and whether the city should increase its parking rates or fees.
Whatever changes the city moves forward with, City Manager Scott Vargo said it’ll engage with residents and the business community first to hear their challenges and ideas.
“We want to understand how we can make parking in Golden more user friendly, whether that user is an employee, resident, business owner or visitor,” Vargo stated in a Sept. 13 email. “What can we do to improve our communications and education efforts?”
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