SAGINAW, MI – Saginaw County leaders are considering ditching parking meters and adding closed parking structures to generate more revenue.
On Tuesday, May 12, Saginaw County Executive Committee members approved plans to install closed parking systems at metered parking lots on Cass Street and Court Street.
Over the years, the county has experienced a decline in meter revenues. At one point, the counters brought in $ 83,000 a year and, more recently, annual revenues were $ 73,000, a loss of nearly $ 10,000 over the years, according to a document submitted to the committee.
To generate more revenue, parking fees will be increased, according to Saginaw County maintenance manager Bernard Delaney Jr.
First-hour customers would be charged 50 cents, then $ 1.50 for each additional hour. Currently, the meter charges 50 cents per hour. A full day of parking will cost $ 11 in the new system. There are 166 meters between the two lots. Delaney estimates that the new system will bring in around $ 100,000 per year.
The meters would be replaced with closed parking structures. Customers will be greeted with a door to enter and a door to exit the car parks. They will be issued a ticket to park in the car park and upon leaving, the customer can pay by phone, credit card, cash or token. A payment kiosk will also be available inside the Saginaw County Government Center for those who wish to pay inside. They would then receive a parking validation ticket to use at the exit, according to Delaney.
“The current system we have is outdated,” Delaney said.
He added that at one point 12 meters broke down and could not collect any money.
Commissioner Cheryl Hadsall asked if there would be someone to help clients use the new system.
Delaney responded that there would be remote microphones built into the system that would connect users to someone inside the Saginaw County Government Center to help them resolve any issues.
The cost of the system and its installation would be $ 155,000 and eliminate the parking attendant position. The parking attendant walks the lots checking the meters every hour, fixes broken meters and collects money weekly with the Sheriff’s Assistant.
Some meters will be scrapped, while others will be posted on eBay, Delaney said.
The proposed plan will be the subject of a final vote at the Council of Commissioners meeting scheduled for Tuesday 19 May.
Delaney said if the plans are approved, work on both lots will begin in July.
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