After more than four decades of management by an independent corporation, the city will in the new year assume operation of its only two parkades, both of which are downtown.
The Kamloops Downtown Parking Corporation has been silently working behind the scenes since 1975, monitoring the city-owned Seymour Street and Lansdowne Street parkades.
Effective Jan. 1, the city will move toward automation — possibly a gated system similar to that found at Royal Inland Hospital — with bylaw officers enforcing parking rules similar to other city parking stalls.
Acting bylaw services manager Tammy Blundell said the decision by council not to renew the corporation’s contract, which expires on Dec. 31, was made to improve efficiency and provide customers with pay option alternatives to cash and cheque. The corporation didn’t have the resources to automate, she said.
Currently, the corporation employs one full-time office manager, a part-time assistant, a maintenance person and about a half-dozen people who work in the cash box booths. The office manager, who works out of an office in the Seymour Street parkade, will stay on through the first three to four months of 2020 to ensure a smooth transition.
The others will be out of work with the corporation’s dissolution at the end of the year.
The value of the city contract with the Kamloops Downtown Parking Corporation is unclear. Blundell said it fluctuates from month to month, with the corporation managing the parkades and collecting fares, paying its operating costs and sending anything remaining at the end of the month to the city. Blundell said automating the process will likely mean more money in city coffers.
“That is definitely expected,” she said, noting revenues will go into a parkade management reserve for future city needs.
Parkade users can expect new technology in the future, including online payment. More information is expected in the coming months.
Blundell said bylaw officers will be responsible for the parkades until 9 p.m. and discussions will also occur in the coming months about evening security.