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Auditor general blasts city's parking strategy

Failure to effectively track revenue or even regularly inspect meters shows that the city's parking strategy is dysfunctional.

Failure to effectively track revenue or even regularly inspect meters shows that the city's parking strategy is dysfunctional, Ottawa's auditor general said Wednesday.

A report tabled by Alain Lalonde stated that the city's parking meters were collecting fees for an average of two to three hours per weekday. The report recommended a review into parking occupancy rates compared to revenue generated.

However, Coun. Gord Hunter pointed out that for large periods of the year, many meters like ones at Mooney's Bay sit unused. He said the report should have separated the meters at areas like Mooney from the on-street meters downtown.

On-street and off-street parking revenue was around $7.6 million per year, but there is no effective way to isolate revenue and expenses and relate it to specific areas.

"When you collect that amount of money, you should have a better handle on what is your expectation," he said.

To ensure that collection is effective they have to know how much money -- at least in theory -- they are going to collect.

Ray Kostuch, manager of the office of the auditor general, said they are not disagreeing with management about how much money is being collected, but rather saying that the city needs a better system for determining how much they should expect.

A parking management strategy to be presented April 15 will create a more comprehensive approach to parking.

 
 
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