-Director says the company is not required to do so
Smart City Solutions, the company implementing the controversial parking meter project, will not be releasing the study it conducted to determine the feasibility of having parking meters erected in various parts
of the city.
During a media conference on Friday at the National Communications Network (NCN), the company’s Managing Director, Amir Oren, said that the study “is something that we have expended quite a large amount of capital and resources to put forward. It’s our competitive information and intellectual property that belongs to us and we are not prepared to release it.”
He told reporters that the feasibility study was conducted only after the contract for the project was inked. “The city didn’t have the resources or the expertise to perform this study, but we did. However, before we would commit the capital to do that, we required to have a contract so that if we do expend the resources to conduct the feasibility study, then we have something to fall back on,” Oren explained.
Questioned about his company appearing to be confused about the parking rates that would suit a city like Georgetown, Oren said that the flexibility of the contract meant that the company knew that the rates would have to eventually be adjusted.
“Those rates, though we had an instinct and we knew that they were set flexibly and perhaps high, we knew that they would never end up to be that way. It was studied by us all along,” Oren said.
He reminded that the initial parking rates were approved by the Ministry of Finance as well as the Attorney General.
“If you read up on your report from the Ministry of Finance and comments of the Attorney General, you would see that they commented that the rates that were in the original contract, pre-feasibility study, were such that they were up to, so they were flexible.”
Oren told reporters that the recently announced reduction in the price for parking was examined in the initial feasibility study for the project.
According to the new amendments, the 50 percent slash in parking rates would not be applicable to persons parking for less than eight hours. Smart City Solutions said that “the metered parking fee for all motorists parking for periods of 15 minutes to four hours shall remain the same at $50 per 15 minutes plus VAT (Value Added Tax).”
The rates have been adjusted only for those who are working in Georgetown, and require long term parking. “The metered parking fee for all motorists that purchase parking for eight hours or more will be reduced by 50 percent, to $25 per 15 minutes plus VAT,” the company said.
Oren noted that “this is the same discount that we were offering to businesses that have substantial numbers of employees who work for them, that would need to have parking for all day long.”
On the other hand,
Meanwhile, “Any motorist paying for four hours of metered parking at the current rate of the $50 per 15 minutes plus Value Added Tax (VAT) will automatically be credited with eight hours of metered parking.”
PAY BY PLATE
Additionally, instead of paying to park in a particular space for a particular length of time, City Hall said that persons will instead, be required to pay for parking time for their individual cars.
“This effectively means that motorists may purchase any amount of parking time and then move from any metered parking space to any other metered parking space anywhere in the city for the amount of time purchased on a single parking ticket, until it expires,” the Council said.
WHY THE CHANGE?
Questioned about what prompted the decision to amend the contract in the first place, Georgetown’s Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green would not say. She was then asked specifically if the court actions and massive protests against metered parking had any impact on SCS and the Council’s decision to adjust the rates.
“I don’t think the protests…,” she began, but before the Mayor could finish her response, her colleague, Town Clerk, Royston King interrupted. “Our consultations, our consultations,” he said. The Mayor then continued, “Consultations with a wider range of persons.”
City Hall officials said that the response from large businesses in favour of the parking meters has been tremendous. They did not however, give the names of these companies.
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