Municipal Corporations – Validity of Covenant to Maintain Parking Meters in Bond Issue to Finance Off-Street Parking Facilities

An act of the state legislature authorized the issuance of municipal bonds to finance off-street parking facilities. The city was authorized to pledge revenue from existing on-street parking facilities to service the bonds but was to retain the right to change the location of the parking meters and other on-street facilities for enumerated reasons so long as the change did not materially lessen the revenue to be derived from those facilities. Acting in pursuance of authority granted by the enabling act, the city covenanted to maintain its parking meters subject to the reservations required by the act. In an action for a declaratory judgment, one contention of the plaintiff was that the covenant attempted to barter away police powers. On appeal from the judgment sustaining the constitutionality of the act the validity of the covenants and pledges under it, held, affirmed as modified Although the legislature may authorize the city to pledge revenue from such on-street parking facilities as it may maintain, a covenant to maintain the meters or to guarantee the revenue which they will produce is an ineffective attempt to barter away the police powers. Sammons v. City of Beaufort, (S.C. 1954) 83 S.E. (2d) 153.