Atlanta city officials said they are disappointed in a ruling that leaves the city facing a nearly $5 million payment to Park Atlanta and a big drop in monthly revenue from the private company.
Atlanta hired Park Atlanta to step up parking enforcement, but the city has backtracked since then, sparking a dispute between both parties. The fight landed in court, with an arbitrator siding with Park Atlanta.
Park Atlanta's enforcement troops hit the streets two years ago in full force, on a seven-year contract, under which the city was to receive $5.5 million each year. But it didn't take long for City Hall to get an earful of complaints. Channel 2 has covered numerous stories about ticket recipients who felt like they were wrongly targeted. The city responded by placing restrictions on the company, such as no more enforcement on Sundays.
According to a report obtained by Channel 2, the city now has to repay Park Atlanta just under $4.6 million through the end of this month, and going forward, Park Atlanta’s monthly payment will be reduced from $458,333 to $122,280 -- a 73 percent reduction. That’s a $4 million loss for the city.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Kasim Reed said the city believes the accountant's revenue adjustments are excessive. She added that the city is reviewing its legal options. City and Park Atlanta officials said negotiations will resume next week.