City moving forward with plans for license plate readers, pay stations for downtown parking

City staff and the Parking Advisory Commission are continuing their proposal to purchase license plate reader technology and pay stations to replace the parking meters downtown.

In June, the PAC voted to pursue those options and staff has been working on pricing options and a contract to bring to the City Commission for consideration in August.

City considering license plate recognition, pay stations for downtown parking enforcement

The current plan is 14 pay stations on Central Avenue that would cover multiple spaces and side streets, as well as pay stations for the city’s two parking garages.

The machines would accept cash/coins and credit cards, according to Craig Raymond, planning director.

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Raymond said the plan is to purchase through the city’s parking contractor, SP+, since the company gets significant discounts through their vendors.

Raymond said that will require a modified contract with SP and he said that he’ll likely propose a 3-year parking management contract with the additional provisions for purchasing the new meters and LPR technology.

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The city could finance the purchase through SP+ or potentially pay cash with some of the tax increment financing funds that were identified and approved for garage improvements and other city parking funds.

The estimated cost for the pay stations ranges from $101,000 to $115,000, if using the SP+ discount, according to city documents.

Switching to LPR would lower the city’s personnel costs for parking enforcement, according to the city’s parking contractors, SP+ and Passport Parking.

Staff is still considering options for how to structure personnel with LPR since there’s only one full-time manager now and enforcement officers are part-timers. The contractors suggested having two full-time enforcement officers so one could drive the vehicle and and run the LPR then ping violations to the person on foot to write tickets.

According to the city’s contractors, the switch to LPR could save the city up to $44,769 in the first year and $83,859 in subsequent years.