IBA Warns Council On Parking Estimates For Balboa Park Garage

In a July 15 report, the office of the Independent Budget Analyst urged city councilmembers to use conservative estimates when considering parking revenues from a new parking structure in Balboa Park. If not, money for maintenance, bond repayments, and security would have to come from the City's depleted General Fund.

"The IBA recommends that projected parking revenues and all parking structure costs, including possible costs for a security service, be carefully reevaluated before bonds are sized in order to minimize fiscal exposure for the General Fund."

As of now, the Plaza de Panama committee is banking on numbers from a recent traffic study. In the study the parking consultant estimates the paid-parking structure will have an 88 percent annual occupancy; 50 percent of which filled by park visitors, 25 percent occupied park employees and volunteers, and 13 percent used by valet parking.

If just ten percent of park visitors opt for the free-parking areas along Park Boulevard, at Inspiration Point, or at the Zoo, the City would pay approximately $240,000 each year from its General Fund.

"There is uncertainty regarding how the availability of free parking will impact the usage of the paid parking structure," reads the report from the IBA's office.

In addition, the IBA warned of an additional $175,000 for security, and $45,000 to be spent on annual operating and maintenance costs.

"The IBA recommends that ongoing General Fund operation and maintenance costs be considered once final plans have been developed and before a final decision is made on the Project.

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Consultants are paid for projections, an implicit claim that they can predict the future. The more their projections match the desired results, the more likely they will receive future work. Future work is not predicated on the accuracy of the crystal ball projections. There is no penalty when the future turns out to be not quite what these fortune tellers predict. What's wrong with this picture? It is taxpayer money at risk. The consultant nor the employer pays no penalty.

all those in favor of it getting a cut of the deal some where along the line?

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