PATERSON, NJ -  The City Council approved three appointments to the Paterson Parking Authority last month.

Joseph Barbieri and Samir Goow, brother of City Council President Aslon Goow, were reappointed to the board, while Ashley Turnbill was picked to replace Ray Riga on the panel.

The Parking authority's annual budget for 2011 is about $7.1 million, including about $3.1 million for salaries and fringe benefits. The budget projects an extra $90,000 in revenue from increased traffic at the Center City Mall garage and an extra $122,000.

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Fees from the garages generated almost $3.7 million in revenue in 2009, according to the agency's annual report. Parking meters produced another $714,686 that year, while revenue from parking permits, leases and parking contracts produced about $2.3 million.
The parking authority is paying the city $400,000 this year to cover the cost of police protection and other municipal services.

Councilman Rigo Rodriguez recently has suggested the city disband the authority and put the parking garages within the regular city goverment structure. Rodriguez said the income from parking fees would help the city with its fiscall problems. But he has not gotten any support for that move.
In fact, it's pretty much what a state auditor said the city ought to do.
"The City should review the possibility of dissolving the Authority and including the operation as an enterprise fund within the City.  Savings can be obtained through the elimination of various professionals where duplication exists,'' recommended a 2009 state audit.  But no action has been taken on that suggestion.