What is the Wilmington Parking Authority?
The Wilmington Parking Authority (WPA) was formed in 1951 to provide off-street parking for the public good. Since its founding, the Authority has developed a number of garages and parking lots throughout downtown Wilmington. At present, the WPA operates 8 garages and 3 lots which are open to the public and are available for both monthly and short-term parking. The locations of these facilities and their hours of operation are detailed elsewhere on this website.
The WPA is guided by a five-member Board of Directors. The Executive Director and staff members are responsible for carrying out the policies of the Board, as well as the management, administration, and operation of parking facilities. Among the many functions performed by the WPA are the collection and auditing of all parking revenues, maintenance of the parking facilities, and analysis of parking data and trends in the downtown Wilmington area. The WPA also provides technical assistance when requested.
The WPA operates as a financially self-sufficient organization, meaning that its expenses must be covered entirely from revenues obtained as user fees. All of the WPA’s activities must be assessed according to how they contribute to or detract from the Authority’s ability to cover its operating costs, maintain its facilities, set aside funds for capital improvements, and participate in new developments providing public parking for the public good. The Authority receives no financial support from City or State governments. The WPA may issue tax-exempt bonds, borrow funds, and engage in public/private joint ventures. Its bonds are typically guaranteed by the City, so the WPA’s ability to cover its costs is also important to the City.
Relationship to the City:
The WPA is an agency of the State of Delaware. Its Board of Directors is appointed by the Mayor of the City of Wilmington. The WPA cooperates with the City of Wilmington on issues relating to off-street parking. The WPA participates with the City in economic development projects that require off-street parking facilities where such facilities are necessary to meet the needs of the parking public and can be constructed and operated feasibly. In addition, the WPA confers with City and State departments and agencies to assist in ensuring that the best possible level of public parking service is provided to persons living, working, shopping, and visiting in Wilmington.