By Alyssa Schnugg
If the crowds of people walking around the downtown Square in Oxford on any given day, or the number of times cars loop around looking for parking spaces weren’t enough of an indication of the popularity of the downtown Square, the annual parking meter revenue report presented Friday makes it clear.
During the last 12 months, parking meters brought in $867,533, according to Oxford parking director Matt Davis who presented the yearly report during the Downtown Parking Advisory Commission meeting.
The weekly average for parking meter revenue is $15,819.
The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
During the same time period in 2017-2018, meters brought in $774,429.
About 55 percent of people parking use a credit or debit card to pay for parking while 40 percent used coins. About 5 percent paid using the Passport Parking app.
Despite the high revenue, $181,232 was taken in from parking fines, up from $85,601 last year – that’s because the number of parking tickets issued almost double, Davis said.
As of Sept. 30, parking officers issued 16,489 tickets compared to 9,742 last year.
Expenses during the last 12 months were $324,718, which left $712,147 profit for the year. However, most of the profit generated by the downtown parking meters will eventually go toward repaying the $11 million bond the city issued to pay for the downtown parking garage that is currently under construction and expected to be completed by August 2019.
Most of the expenses are salaries for the parking department, including parking officers, replacement and repair of meters and professional services associated with the design of the parking garage.