Any plan to privatize Nashville’s parking meters wouldn’t happen during this year’s budget cycle, Mayor Karl Dean has confirmed.
“Obviously, we look at any proposals that are given to us. There was a proposal regarding the privatization of parking,” Dean said. “There’s no plans to go forward with it at all at any point right now. It’s just something we looked at and talked about.”
A report aired by WTVF-Channel 5 Monday revealed an exchange of e-mails between Dean and Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling that seemed to show at least some interest in exploring the idea to raise revenue for the upcoming budget cycle.
Auctioning off municipal parking meters to private companies is a tactic a handful of cities have initiated to create more capital. In Chicago, for example, companies lease parking meters and public parking garages from the city. Companies keep customer fees while the city collects the lease payment and money from tickets issued after meters expire.
Though leasing parking meters reportedly raised significant revenue in Chicago, it also fueled well-documented controversy after companies drastically raised hourly parking rates.
Asked if his administration would consider privatizing any other city services, Dean said, simply, “No.”