Friday, October 18, 2013

Reed doubts PARKatlanta contract will get renewed

Posted By on Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Workers in 2010 install PARKatlanta equipment near Paul Lunas Lunacy Black Market
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • Workers in 2010 install PARKatlanta equipment near Paul Luna's Lunacy Black Market
PARKatlanta's reign of terror will likely end when its contract expires in 2016, Mayor Kasim Reed said.

Reed sat down CL on Wednesday night to discuss his four years in office and, if re-elected, what he'd do with a second and final term. We'll save most of that conversation for our handy election issue that hits news racks on Oct. 31. But when asked whether PARKatlanta's contract with the city would be renewed when it expires in 2016, the mayor said it was unlikely.

"I don't think it gets renewed," Reed said. "And that will probably be my last gift to the people of Atlanta."

Reed made it a point to mention that he inherited the PARKatlanta deal, which former Mayor Shirley Franklin inked in September 2009, and that his hands have been tied given how the contract's revenue was tied to the city's larger budget.

"The PARKatlanta contract was here when I [arrived] and that the budget was built around the $5 million in PARKatlanta revenue - a budget that was very constrained," Reed said. "I didn't have the ability to not replace a $5 million hole."

Last November, Reed said the city "significantly renegotiated" the 7-year contract, agreeing to receive less cash from the firm in exchange for more transparency and accountability.

Sure, it's election season. And the parking company is an easy target. But Reed's latest comments could show that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. In about, well, three years.

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