The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Parking Meter Company Bills City For Even More Money

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 4, 2012 3:00PM

Photo Credit: Ann Fisher
Chicago Parking Meters LLC sent the city another $14 million bill for fees they say are owed for street closures, repairs, festivals and other city-sponsored activities.

Chicago Parking Meters, which earned $82 million in 2011, can bill the city for these lost fees under a provision in the 2008 contract they negotiated with the city. They previously sent the city a $13.5 million tab for revenues lost from motorists with handicapped parking placards parking for free in metered spots, and another $2.1 million bill for "true-up" costs related to street closures.

The Emanuel administration is refusing to pay this bill. The mayor's chief financial officer, Lois Scott, said in an April 5 letter to Chicago Parking Meters CEO Dennis Pedrelli that it should be the city determining how much is owed for the unused meters, which was originally negotiated into the contract by former Mayor Richard M. Daley. In a financial statement filed with the city yesterday, Chicago Parking Meters said, “the company believes that all of the true-up revenue amounts are collectible.”

32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack said last year these bills have lasting ramifications, as they become part of the city's budget, which is already being held together by bubblegum, twine and small fee and rate hikes across the board. Meanwhile Daley, along with former City Corporation Counsel Mara Georges and two top press aides, found soft places to fall at the law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, the law firm that helped to engineer the 75-year parking meter deal.

This is why we continue to compare the parking meter deal to a herpes outbreak: it reminds you it's still there at the most inopportune times