Parking meter problems cost SLC about $90,000

Posted at 5:22 PM, Jul 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-09 19:22:41-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Parking meters in Salt Lake City are set to turn back on Wednesday after having been down since June 29, and the time off has cost the city nearly $10,000 per day.

City officials said the 2,500 parking meters around the city will be back in operation Wednesday after hot weather contributed to them shutting down.

Resident Lindsay Hogan said parking in downtown Salt Lake City can be tricky sometimes, especially with a stroller involved.

“Especially right when you`re trying to hurry and go in quick and stuff, it`s hard to pay for parking,” she said.

So Hogan, and many others like Jack Kendrick, were glad for the reprieve from feeding the meters.

“I come downtown to go to my barber, and to do shopping, and parking is always a little bit of a hassle, so when it`s free, it`s a little better,” Kendrick said.

The cost to park is about $2 per hour, but that adds up quickly. Art Raymond, Spokesman for Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, said having the meters off has cost the city about $90,000, but he said the money is a secondary concern.

“The revenue matters, but really getting the system working the way it`s supposed to, so people have a reliable experience, is our number one goal,” he said.

A server problem that was preventing the use of credit and debit cards at the meters has been cleared up, and Raymond said the extreme heat was frying the meters' circuit boards. He said the vendor said the machines should be able to handle temperatures as high as 130 degrees.

“We`re waiting to hear back from the vendor, and these machines are under warranty, and it will be their responsibility to come up with a solution and work with us, again, to make sure this doesn`t happen again,” Raymond said.

Raymond said there are only a handful of other cities that use the same system of parking meters that Salt Lake City does, and he said those other cities are in cooler climates. He said because of this, the issue is new to Siemens and finding a solution could take time.

FOX 13 News’ Adam Rodriguez contacted the vendor, Siemens, for a comment, but so far has not received a response.