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Green Bay's parking division short changed by safer-at-home order

(WBAY)
Published: May. 8, 2020 at 10:07 PM CDT
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You've probably noticed it's been a lot easier to find a parking spot in Green Bay, but your gain is the city parking division's loss.

“April has been our biggest reduction in revenue so far,” said Chris Pirlot, parking manager for the city.

Parking lots and ramps are starting to feel like non-essential services since the safer-at-home order took effect.

Unlike other aspects of city government, Green Bay's parking division does not receive tax dollars to operate but runs itself; to the tune of about $3.2 million.

“If the parking division makes the same amount of money for all the rest of the months for 2020 as it did in April, we would realize about a 23 percent reduction in revenue as compared to what was projected,” said Pirlot.

That’s because a major source of that revenue has disappeared due to more people working from home, and downtown businesses not needing the space for their employees to park.

“Our monthly rentals for the people who work downtown, which are very much down right now; that's kind of the bread and butter, that's the highest percentage,” said Pirlot.

Knowing more people are working from home and students might be home from college, the parking division has also relaxed some of its parking rules, especially in the neighborhoods.

“There's an ordinance that says no parking on city streets between 3-5 a.m. We know there are those who really need that extra parking; call us let us know, we're going to grant that to you,” said Pirlot

Money also comes from citations, which have taken a nosedive due to schools being closed.

“They're [the school district] very strict. Kids have to buy their parking passes, but they need someone to help moderate that. We go in and do it on an intergovernmental agreement,” said Pirlot.

So far, there have been no layoffs at the city level, but leaders continue to watch the budget closely.

“There should be no or very little impact to the 2020 budget based on real estate taxes. At this point, we don't expect any reduction in state aids set aside for the 2020 budget,” explained the city's Finance Director, Diana Ellenbecker, to the city council at its meeting on Tuesday.

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