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City's Parking Meter Tab Now At $50 Million

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 24, 2012 2:20PM

"Curse you, parking meter!" (Photo Credit: Rolour Garcia)

Chicago Parking Meters LLC sent the city another outbreak of herpes bill for lost revenues on May 17. This bill, for $22 million to cover revenues the company lost from motorists using handicapped parking placards or license plates over a one year period, brings the current tab the city owes Chicago Parking Meters LLC to $50 million.

Thank you, Mayor Daley. Thank you.

It was only two weeks ago that Chicago Parking Meters sent the city a $14 million bill for lost monies for street closures, repairs, festivals and other city-sponsored activities. And that was on top of a previous $13.5 million tab for revenues lost to handicapped parking and $2.1 million in "true-up" costs. Seeing as how this tab counts against the city budget if it's paid, this is a case in which we're happy Mayor Emanuel is fighting for the taxpayer.

Mayoral spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton told the Tribune, "Since day one, it has been our top priority to fight on behalf of the taxpayers of Chicago and better manage the contract." Under a clause in the 2008 deal with the devil, Chicago Parking Meters, which earned $82 million last year, uses a formula to calculate their lost revenue. CPM absorbs a small cost and bills the rest to the city.

The Emanuel administration's position on this is the city should be determining how much is owed for the unused meters. The city and state are working to provide some relief for CPM's cash grab. The city is staging crackdowns on people who illegally use disabled parking placards and license plates and the Illinois Senate approved legislation earlier this week that would stop CPM from seeking reimbursement for lost revenues from handicapped parking placard usage.