There are many benefits to be derived from the implementation of paid parking in the High Court’s parking lot according to Attorney Grant Connell.
He included benefits such as the overall upkeep of the court’s yard and wider compound, as well as alleviating the burden of the nation’s vendors. He noted however for all this to be accomplished that there must be a certain standard maintained at the premises.
In an interview with ANN, he noted that he had discussions with a past registrar years ago regarding the implementation of such a plan.
‘Town is not getting bigger. You have paid parking which is about $400 a month, why can’t we let those who are perceived to be in a position to pay, pay. About fifteen years ago I suggested to the then registrar, I think it was Tamara Marks, how we can put some extra money in the coffers, maybe quarter million to half a million. I suggest that the entire back of the court yard be paved, pitched and have covered parking for lawyers, not only lawyers but bank managers, insurers, whoever can afford it, and you put a fee, it may be–I suggested between $750 to $1000 because the average car park is $400,’ he said.
The attorney noted that in order for such a premium price to be asked, a transformation would need to take place. He remarked that he knows that numerous persons in society would be glad to pay the price for such a privilege.
‘If you keep a standard that is regal over there, you are now parking in an area that is privileged, you are privileged to park there. So if you are parking in a privileged area–good security, a regal look, you pay the price.
I know of some businessmen and lawyers, some of blessed memory, let’s say Parnel Campbell Chambers, if you say it is $1000, you don’t think Parnel Campbell Chambers, his legacy alone, knowing that you paying $500 for the car park and $500 for the upkeep of a building, to be of a certain standard, he wouldn’t do that? How about Desiree Richards of Metrocint, she can have one for her chambers and Metrocint. Uncle Metro, do you think Uncle Metro would not contribute $1000 to have his carpark with his company name on it?’ he said.
Connell said after doing the math, the revenue from implementing the premium paid parking service would be nearly $500,000 a year.
‘Okay, let’s do the maths, forty in the back, covered, get BRAGSA to pave the back, that’s $40,000 a month, that’s $480,000 a year’ he said.
The attorney acknowledged that that amount of money is not need for the upkeep of the building but noted that funds collected for these premium parking spots can go towards offsetting the cost paid by vendors to the Kingstown town board.
‘It wouldn’t take half a million dollars to maintain the building, but let’s extrapolate, we’re helping the poor, because that’s what–the Prime Minister loves the poor and I hope in the back of his mind we’re keeping these poor vendors in mind. They pay $5 a day, there are an average four hundred paid vendors–collecting $5 a day, which many people might say is not much, but when you are selling five heap of dasheen, two tanya, and some plantain and you get a grand total of $60 after sitting down in the hot sun all day, minus $5, $5 to come and $5 to go home. If you are the farmer, all is yours. If you have to buy and sell, see how much the poor people make.
So we’re trying to east the pain, can’t we take half of the $480,000 or even $200,000 to offset the $400,000 collection that the town board will get from them, because 400 by 5 is about $10,000 a week and you cut the $5 that you would collect from them to $2. So you’re the lawyers pay, and others who can afford to pay to contribute to making the environ that is supposed to be regal, regal, and easing the pressure of the poor, it’s a win-win situation,’ Connell said.
With regards to maintaining of the law on the compound, the attorney suggested that the Government tap into the resource that are the inmates at His Majesty’s Prison in Kingstown, having them cut the lawn on Saturdays, remarking ‘you have two hundred men sitting down doing nothing’