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City Council Has Questions About Solar Parking Meters

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Photo - KXNT SamStone

Photo – KXNT SamStone

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Las Vegas CBS KXNT- Las Vegas City Council members voted on Wednesday to delay approval of a $1.45 million parking meter purchase pending another presentation to clear up remaining questions about the machines.

The 233 meters would be placed in the downtown area and in the medical district surrounding University Medical Center beginning in May. The solar-powered machines accept credit cards and coins, and have other advanced capabilities, including interaction with apps that predict parking space availability. The base price is $5,695 per meter.

The members had questions about the long-term viability of some technical components, the choice of a cellular service provider, and whether the machines are sufficiently user friendly. Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian asked to push the approval vote down the road by 30 days in order to solicit public input after giving citizens a chance to play with a sample parking meters, and report any frustrations.

Several council members brought up failures of high-tech parking meter programs in other cities. A representative from the favored vendor, Parkeon, was on hand to address the questions.

Council members also asked whether the machines can be programmed to handle parking violation payments (they can), and whether the screens can be programmed to display advertising to help generate revenue for the city (they can).

The council will take up the contract approval again on February 20.

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