Vernon to spend $225K on vandalized parking meters - InfoNews

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Vernon to spend $225K on vandalized parking meters

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April 27, 2020 - 4:37 PM

The City of Vernon has approved $225,000 to revamp hundreds of vandalized parking meters.

Vernon city council voted unanimously to spend $137,000 to replace 350 vandalized meters currently out of service and a further $88,000 to replace parts of 600 existing meters with reinforced steel parts.

"How effective is it going to be if I take a sled hammer to (a parking meter)," Councillor Akbal Mund asked City staff.

The meters have been installed in both Kelowna and Penticton and had a "significant reduction" in thefts, reported staff.

Councillor Kari Gares questioned why the City didn't move over to pay machines found in other cities such as Kelowna. Council heard the machines would cost roughly $110,000 just for 30 Avenue, while the cost to replace the 111 meters on Main Street would cost $42,000.

The City’s projected revenue collected from parking meter fees in 2020 was $953,037 and the City estimates the loss of revenue due to damaged parking meters to be $40,000 as of March 6, 2020. Currently, the City budgets $14,000 annually for parking meter replacement.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vernon council suspending parking meter charges March 31. Council voted to extend the suspension until May 11 at today's, April 27, meeting.

A report from the City says parking meter break-ins have become common over the last six months. The report from City staff says they will repair a meter during the day only to have it broken into again that night and there are insufficient spare parts in stock to complete repairs.

On Feb. 13 the Vernon RCMP arrested two individuals alleged to have broken into parking meters. One of the individuals was caught with a homemade device designed to retrieve coins from parking meters, while the other broke a court order by being within one metre of a parking meter. The City reports six individuals have been arrested and incarcerated.

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