LAKE PLACID - Tired of not being able to see the screens of village parking meters on a sunny day? It won't be a problem much longer.
The village plans to spend $81,420 to replace the screens on 37 of its parking meters, the oldest of which were first installed in 2008. That includes an $18,500 reduction for trading in the old computer units, said village Mayor Craig Randall at Monday night's board meeting.
Some village officials have wanted screens that are easier to read for years, but the upgrade just recently became available.
A man uses a parking meter on Lake Placid’s Main Street Tuesday as the sun shines, making the meter’s display screen hard to read.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
They should take about five or six weeks to come in, Randall said.
The village has 39 total meters, but two are new and already have the new screens.
Trustees Jason Leon and Scott Monroe voted against the purchase.
Leon said he understands the necessity for replacing the screens, but he'd like to see it as part of a larger plan for managing the meters in the future.
"For the amount of money we're spending, there's just a couple of question marks I would like to see finalized," he said.
Monroe said the major complaint he hears about the meters is that some of the machines don't accept bills, just coins and credit cards.
"I don't know as though the screens are a necessity," Monroe said. "I think it's more of a want. I don't see the issue, and $81,000 is a lot of money if they are working."
Trustee Art Devlin said the parking enforcement officers say 50 percent of people have problems seeing the screens, especially older visitors like the ones who often visit during the fall foliage season.
Trustee Peter Holderied agreed.
"I cannot see them at all when the sun is shining," Holderied said.
Monroe said he'd like to see the village create a reserve fund to put away some money each year to build up money for major upgrades like this in the future.
Village officials are looking at adding bill acceptors to 22 of the machines that don't have them. It would cost $39,640, a price that includes software changes. An upgrade of the meters' back office system to a different program that tracks the meter data would be included, Randall said.
He said that before the village makes that decision, he wants to find out whether the historical data from the existing system can be exported to the new one.
He also wants to look at the lower-volume parking meters that do have bill acceptors and figure out if it makes sense to swap them with ones in higher-volume areas that only accept coins and credit cards.
Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.