Windsor councillor pushes for paid parking at WFCU Centre

Windsor councillor pushes for paid parking at WFCU Centre

Visitors to the WFCU Centre should have to pay for parking every time they visit, not just for the upcoming Memorial Cup, says Coun. Chris Holt.

The Ward 4 representative pushed for paid parking at Monday night's council meeting. With support from his fellow councillors, Holt asked city staff to outline a possible fee schedule for event parking at the east-end facility. Holt does not want fees applied to the community rinks and pool.

"We are one of the only cities, probably in the world, that doesn't charge for parking ... and it's unsustainable," he said. 

Mayor Drew Dilkens confirmed Tuesday the city is contractually prohibited from charging for parking at regular Windsor Spitfires' games.

"The contract that the City of Windsor has with the Windsor Spitfires prevents us from charging for parking on regular game nights," said Dilkens. "At this point, we're not allowed to charge for parking for regular Spitfire games."

20-year lease with Spitfires

The city inked a 20-year lease agreement with the Spitfires in 2006. It was made public in 2008 following a freedom of information request. 

Holt's paid parking push comes on the heels of council's decision to temporarily lease an additional 800 parking spaces from a neighbouring property owner for $75,000 in order to accommodate heavy traffic during the Memorial Cup next month. 

The cost of the deal with London developer Shmuel Farhi will be paid for by a $10 parking fee, according to the agreement approved by council Monday night. 

"We expect every one of those spaces to be full for 10 days during the games, so we expect to actually break even," said Mayor Drew Dilkens.

WFCU manager Ray Mensour suggested the fee in order to meet the costs of parking without requesting more public funds.

The new fee is expected to generate an estimated revenue of $128,160. Some of that money will also be spent on signage and barricades.