By LINDA MOSS
Montclair is seeking bids from companies to manage the township’s three municipal parking decks and the one that’s planned for Glenridge Avenue.
The existing decks — the Crescent, Bay Street and North Fullerton Avenue — for many years have been operated by Propark America, which is based in Hartford, Connecticut. That was before the township decided to disband its Parking Authority and put control of the decks under its director of utilities, Gary Obszarny, last December. He has spent spent months reviewing the decks, what repairs they need and what changes should be made.
Following his review, the Montclair Parking Utility recently issued a request-for-proposals for the management and administration of the decks.
“This proposal will be to upgrade the customer service, deck operations, sales of permits, increase cleanliness, and reduced operating costs,” the RFP says.
The township expects to award a three-year contract with two one-year extension options. The proposals are due Oct. 17.
“The decks are to be operated as a public facility, 24 hours per day over seven days per week, with self-parking made available on a first-come basis,” according to the RFP. “The three parking structures provide 890 parking spaces all generally arranged to serve combinations of permits and transient parking.”
Obszarny is on medical leave and couldn’t be reached for comment, nor could Tina Iordamlis, project administrator for the parking utility.
But in an email, Propark spokesman Dennis Safford said, “Propark intends to bid on this parking system as part of the competitive RFP process and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve Montclair, its residents and its visitors.”
In April, Obszarny said he was going to recommend that the contracts for maintenance of the decks be rebid.
“First of all, it hasn’t been done in a while so it needs to be redone,” Obszarny said of Propark’s deal with the municipality in the spring. “And I want to add some items to it so I know exactly how the decks are being run. I need some conditions in there … We’re looking for the best bang for the buck for our customers.”
The RFP sets forth a number of requirements for maintenance of the decks. It says “not less than once each day, pick up, collect and legally dispose of all litter, garbage and debris” and “on a daily basis, police both stairwells and the elevator cab interior.”
It also mandates that the the stairwells be swept at least twice each week and that elevator cabs be swept, mopped and wiped clean at least once a week.
“On whatever frequency is necessary, but certainly no less frequently than every other day, keep glass panels in doors, elevator interior and stairwell enclosures in clean condition,” the RFP says.
It also mandates that snow and ice be promptly removed “from grade level deck lanes, on-site sidewalks and circulation driveways as/when necessary” and “clear snow from top parking levels and stockpile according to a plan to be provided.”
The RFP says the operator must “ensure that staff achieves excellence in customer service, maintaining high levels of visibility and providing a ‘presence’ and availability to dispel negative customer perceptions.”
Bidders must also be willing to “deal forthright and expeditiously with respect to any and all claims for damages, keeping the MPU fully and timely informed as to the filing and disposition of all claims.”
Earlier this month the Township Council approved an ordinance that appropriates $350,000 to do refurbishing — as well as upgrade signage and enforcement devices — at the municipal parking decks.