Lebanon will be upgrading and expanding the number of parking meters in the downtown business district.
City Council approved a contract to replace the city’s 146 coin-operated parking meters with automated meters that will include integration with mobile payments, secure card processing, a digital permits ecommerce solution, and a payment validation module for enforcement purposes.
Public Works Director Darren Owens said in a report that the parking stalls will be located along the city’s main streets in a six-block area to encourage parking turnover for Lebanon’s downtown businesses. He said there is a three-hour limit for parking with 30 minutes for 25 cents. The meters operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Owens said the hardware in the coin-operated meters is obsolete.
Sonia Staffan, owner of Oh Suzanna and the The Jam & Jelly Lady on Broadway, called the decision, “a common-sense move.” She said her employees are constantly making change for customers, so having credit card payment will make things easier for her and her staff.
“I am so for it,” she said. “We cater to tourists. Many of them come from out of town and already expect being able to use a credit card with the parking meters.”
City staff reviewed four vendors who submitted information and interviewed the top two ranked vendors. City staff made site visits to evaluate their parking systems in operation and recommended the Flowbird Group.
The amount of the contract is $93,560 and includes providing and installing the new parking meter hardware, as well as integration of the payment processing software, e-notification system, and permit software. Additionally, it includes replacing the existing parking meter posts with a black, decorative post.
City Manager Scott Brunka said the parking meters have a 10-year life cycle. He also said there will be an additional 14 metered parking stalls will be added to West and East Silver Street to encourage parking turnover in these areas.
Brunka said city staff will be recommending an adjustment to the parking rates in the future to reflect the current industry standard.
While the city will be installing new parking meters, Brunka said city parking lots around the downtown district will continue with free parking.