Parking Authority Close To Taking Over Facilities At Jackson Medical
Written by Eric Kalis on December 21, 2006
By Eric Kalis
The Miami Parking Authority is closing in on a five-year agreement to take over all Public Health Trust parking facilities at the University of Miami Jackson Medical Campus.
Art Noriega, executive director of the parking authority, said during last week’s board meeting that he hoped to begin managing parking operations at the medical campus at 1611 NW 12th Ave. by mid-January. The Public Health Trust’s executive committee was to ratify the agreement during Wednesday’s meeting, Mr. Noriega said.
"We look forward to being a part of the trust," Mr. Noriega said. "Two public agencies getting together makes sense. We hope the relationship is beneficial to both sides."
The parking authority would replace international parking provider Central Parking Corp. as the manager of Jackson’s parking garages and surface lots. Mark Aprigliano, director of public safety at the health trust, said last week that the trust preferred a local operator that would have more of a hands-on presence at the medical campus.
"We are looking for a different direction," Mr. Aprigliano said. "This is a natural fit based on the parking authority’s experience and connection to local government."
According to the contract, trust officials would pay the parking authority an annual management fee of $108,000 and provide incentives for generating revenue gains. One of the stipulations in the deal is for the parking authority’s operational expenses to be comparable to Central Parking’s, Mr. Noriega said.
"However, it looks as if we will be able to trim an additional $10,000 in expenses and come in at an even lower price," Mr. Noriega said.
The plan is for the parking authority to take over all parking operations within a month after the agreement is completed, Mr. Noriega said. Parking authority officials hope to retain as many Central Parking employees as possible to ease the transition, he said. Interviews with current Central Parking employees would take place for a week before the parking authority completes the transition, Mr. Noriega said.
"We will have a human-resource presence there to give the current staff an opportunity to stay," Mr. Noriega said. "If they are good employees, it will make staffing easier."
According to the contract, the parking authority would be required to submit monthly progress reports for the first six months of the agreement. The trust board would have to vote on any proposed rate increases. The trust also has the option to extend the contract in one-year increments for three years after the deal expires.
Arthur Hertz, a parking authority board member and former trust board member, said last week that he is "very much in favor of this. I always had problems with parking when I was with the trust."