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Police Balk at City Demand for Parking Fee

December 18, 2002  | 

Toronto police have had it with the city's demand for parking fees in an underground structure at city hall. The city recently ended a 25-year policy that allowed police vehicles on official business to park in the garage for free, and the police department is refusing to pay.

Members of the Police Services Board have called the move by the Toronto Parking Authority "stupid" and "ridiculous." The Board supports Chief Julian Fantino in a motion to defer the $20,000 per month fee that the city-run agency is demanding from the police department. Fantino wants the city's policy and finance committee to rule on the issue before he pays the bill.

Fantino estimates that if his department is required to pay the parking fees that he will need a budget increase of $240,000.

Toronto police argue that all of the cars parked in the city hall garages are on official business. However, the Parking Authority doesn't believe that's true. The Authority estimates that five to seven police vehicles should be in the garage on official business per day, far fewer than the 64 cars per day that actually use the facility.

Local analysts say there is no love lost between the Toronto PD and the Parking Authority. The PD is currently in charge of parking enforcement, but the Authority wants the job.

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