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.