The City of Long Beach expects motorists will find it easier to feed the new multi-space pay meters that will be installed in the parking garage at the Long Island Rail Road station.
The City Council on Tuesday approved City Manager Charles Theofan’s proposal to have the city enter a five year-lease agreement that will cost more than $44,000 to replace the four existing pay stations. The city will lease with the Sayville-based Parkeon, one of two companies that bid for the project, at an annual cost of $8,867. The new machines will allow motorists to pay by credit card.
“The meters right now are really underutilized because, first of all, they don’t take credit cards, and secondly, we’ve had a lot of problems with the bill accepters and people just know they don’t work very well,” City Clerk David Fraser, who oversees the meters at the parking garage and spearheaded the proposal to upgraded them, told Patch. “So we’re hoping with the new meters, we’ll get more usage out of them because they will be a lot easier and friendlier, and there will be more payment options.”
Fraser said the city last year generated $13,000 from the parking meters.
Theofan said the existing meters were purchased in 2004, and the manufacturer, Digital, discontinued them the next year. “In 2009, the manufacturer told us that they would no longer service the machines or provide any parts or support,” he added.
When explaining how the city will pay for the meters, Theofan said the LIRR funded the cost for building the parking garage and when construction was completed it ceded ownership of the structure to the city.
“We had an arrangement with them that all the money that is generate by the meters goes into one pot, and from that pot we’re allow to reimburse ourselves with maintenance for the parking structure, the purchase and maintenance of the meters, and the cleaning and various other services related to the parking structure,” Theofan said. “This will be paid for through the funds generated from the meters.”
Fraser said he expects the new meters will be installed early in 2012.
* This story was corrected and update at 9:40 a.m. on 11/17/11.