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Arbitrator sides with Atlanta business in contract dispute

A recent news story detailed the contract dispute between a Georgia parking company and the city of Atlanta, with an arbitrator eventually favoring the company. The city was recently handed a ruling that leaves them holding the bag for a nearly $5 million payment to the company that they hired to perform additional parking enforcement.

According to the company, called Park Atlanta, the city has not held up its end of their contract. At issue is the seven-year contract that went into effect two years ago. Under that contract, the city was to get $5.5 million per year from the private company.

Problems and complaints from citizens about how the company issued tickets began to roll in after they started enforcing parking rules. That caused city officials to put restrictions on how the company operated. These restrictions included a provision that removed ticketing on Sundays, according to a news report. These changes started a fight that has landed the two sides in arbitration.

With this recent ruling, the city has to pay back an estimated $4.5 million and will have its monthly payments from the company reduced by an estimated 73 percent. This will result in the Georgia city losing some $4 million. City officials called the ruling "excessive" and a spokeswoman said the city will be considering other legal actions. Negotiations are expected to continue, according to a news report.

While both sides in this dispute were trying to protect their interests, in this case the business had a convincing case that prompted a positive outcome for the business owners.

Source: WSBTV News, "Report: City owes millions to Park Atlanta," Nov. 23, 2011

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