Downtown Vernon’s parkade is empty.
A staff report shows that so far in 2015, there has been an average of 51 monthly and 371 weekly pass sales at the parkade. That compares to 46 monthly and 336 weekly sales in 2014 and 62 monthly and 303 weekly in 2012.
“Sales of monthly and day use parking permits at the city’s parkade have remained close to static since the loss of two major occupants and the addition of the medical clinic as a user group,” said Clint Kanester, manager of protective services, in a report.
The figures have Coun. Catherine Lord calling for action.
“We need a plan to promote the parkade. We need to do something to make it more attractive to people,” she said.
There may be the perception among some residents that the parkade isn’t safe but the number of surveillance cameras are being expanded there.
“That will go a long way to make people feel safer,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.
Kanester admits the design of the building may turn some people away.
“It’s a 1980s structure. The elevator is closed in and the stairways are closed in. If you look at other structures, the stairways are glass,” he said of visibility.
Staff has been asked to report back by March with possible options to increase parking at the parkade and other possible uses for the facility.
“We can take a look at it and see if there’s anything feasible,” said Lord.
Besides video cameras at the parkade and locations throughout downtown, the city is taking measures to expand surveillance elsewhere.
Council has approved spending $10,000 on video cameras at the public washroom building by Cenotaph Park and $20,000 on surveillance at the Polson Park band shell.