Peekskill Ponders Increasing Parking Meter Fees

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Peekskill officials are considering increasing parking fees to raise revenue by installing new meters.

A proposal was presented to the Common Council Monday night to purchase new meters that would accept coins and debit or credit cards. Upping the hourly fee from 50 cents to 75 cents was estimated to bring in close to $35,000 more per year.

Currently, the outdated 850 meters citywide generate $400,000 for Peekskill but when a meter is in need of repair it can sometimes take as long as two weeks for it to be fixed.

“The city is really in the dark ages in terms of parking management,” said Councilman Vincent Vesce, who is a transportation consultant. “The city should be making a lot more.”

Vesce suggested instead of purchasing new meters the city should look into switching to a centralized parking system already used in many municipalities and New York City where motorists punch in a parking space number at a pay station located in designated areas.

“If we’re going to make a change, we should make a change to the best technology out there,” stressed Vesce, who recommended the city seek a minimum of three bids for a pilot program.

Councilwoman Kathy Talbot and Police Chief Eric Johansen expressed support for Vesce’s plan. Johansen revenue from parking tickets decreased by 30% last year after an employee who monitored and repaired parking meters was terminated due to budget cuts.

Johansen also mentioned that it takes a city employee two full days to collect coins from all the meters in Peekskill.

“It’s back breaking work. It’s antiquated,” he said.

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