The Williamsport Parking Authority has passed a proposed $1.4 million budget that uses surplus money to pay for capital projects next year.
Last year's budget was $931,000, with an actual use of $1 million. Despite having to draw down on its reserves the authority recently authorized giving the city a $75,000 contribution for its 2013 budget at the request of Mayor Gabriel J. Campana.
The surplus is $225,000 and will go toward repairing parking lot surfaces that are easily repairable.
"We're using surplus for our capital projects," said William E. Nichols Jr., director of city finance.
He estimated about $500,000 in projects are expected to be done over the next three years with help from River Valley Transit to pay the project costs.
The surplus, Nichols confirmed, has been collected from additional customers using the Church Street parking garage and from increasing on-lot and garage rates approved in 2011.
The most seriously structurally deficient surface lots will have to wait following a recent assessment and work session done by the authority and a consultant.
"We're doing preventative maintenance in the first year," said Dr. Anthony Cipolla, authority chairman.
Another issue facing the authority is where to find enough parking spaces downtown with the planned razing of the Mid-Town Parking Garage in the spring.
"We're looking at off-street parking areas," Cipolla said. "We may pull meters off lots to get monthly parkers into lots once the relocation of monthly parkers begins."
About 45 more parking spots also would be lost on Mulberry Street should a senior housing project at Via Bella come to fruition.
The city administration believes the housing project is worthwhile and would generate $250,000 from the sale of the property, plus additional revenue from building permit fees and senior citizens living in the city.