A renewal of a contract for a third-party parking enforcement agency, Diamond Parking Services, was not approved at last week’s City Council meeting.
Councilor Dennis Slattery asked why the city couldn’t conduct its own parking enforcement downtown. City Administrator Assistant Adam Hanks said that the city switched to the third-party contract in 2001 for cost reasons.
Hanks said the company performs many more tasks than just writing parking tickets. They also prepare a lot of the information for the court, are the first line of contact for citizens who dispute parking tickets, attend court if necessary and perform service repair of parking meters in the Hargadine parking structure, according to a staff report.
Councilor Stephen Jensen asked when the last review of these costs was conducted. Hanks said there hasn’t been a review since the company came on board in 2001.
The council decided that an updated cost comparison should be conducted and brought back to the council at its Dec. 18 meeting.
Councilor Jackie Bachman asked how much revenue the parking tickets bring in for the city. Hanks said the ticket fees were raised about a year and a half ago and revenues from parking tickets run around $175,000 to $200,0000 annually after expenses.
The contract was set to expire in June but was extended through December.
Parking enforcement occurs within the areas of Main Street and Lithia Way from the Plaza to the library, and occasionally in the Railroad District, according to a staff report.
In other news, the council also approved the first official reading of the Transit Triangle Ordinance and Map Amendments. This ordinance is intended to incentivize developers to build much-needed affordable housing near the bus route in southeastern Ashland.
The route circulates around Ashland Street, Tolman Creek Road and Siskiyou Boulevard. The ordinance would allow developers to take advantage of infill in that area because it relaxes some of the building requirements.