Parking Meter Company Says Chicago Owes $14M

The company that runs Chicago's parking meters says the city owes it $14 million.

Friday, May 4, 2012  |  Updated 8:21 PM CDT
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Emanuel Pushes Back on Parking Meter Debt

AP

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration is disputing the latest bill from the company that runs Chicago's parking meters.

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Emanuel Pushes Back on Parking Meter Debt

The company that runs Chicago's parking meters says the city owes $14 million, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel says differently. "They got another thing coming," the city's chief executive said Friday.
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The company that runs Chicago's parking meters says the city owes $14 million, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel says differently.

"They got another thing coming," the city's chief executive said Friday.

Chicago Parking Meters LLC says the money was supposedly lost when street repairs and festivals took meters out of service.

It's the second time the mayor has pushed back on such a claim from the company. The city already is fighting a $13.5 million claim over free parking given to those who have disabled parking rights, and City Hall is disputing the company's claims.

"I sent them a letter back. And let me say this: in the envelope wasn't a check," said Emanuel. "I sent them back a clear and unambiguous message: No."

While former Mayor Richard Daley was in office, Chicago was paid about $1.2 billion for a 99-year lease of the meters. Daley last year landed a job with the firm that helped negotiate the parking meter deal.

Aldermen who approved the deal have since expressed second thoughts.

"I'm sure that we all have regretted that vote, but we have to move on, correct the mistakes that we make," said Ald. Ray Suarez (31st).

Emanuel’s chief financial officer reportedly called the way Chicago Parking Meters LLC calculated "adjustments" to make up for parking spaces taken out of service last year "legally and factually erroneous.”

Chicago Parking Meters LLC made more than $80 million from the meters last year, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, and the company's financial performance slightly exceeded experts' projections.

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