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Bloomington Parking Meters Not Bringing In Revenue As Excepted
Updated February 8, 2016 7:12 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Bloomington parking meters are not bringing in the revenue city officials hoped for.

Partially because everyone one of the meters has failed to work properly at some point, which Mayor John Hamilton says is unacceptable.

The city purchased 1,500 meters from San Diego-based IPS Group n 2013, for about $1.9 million, including the cost of installation services, and bought refurbished housings for the meters, saving $90,000 versus new meter housings.

The Herald Times reports that before an extensive repair and reinstallation or replacement effort at the end of last year, each month about 277 meters on average experienced problems - ranging from frozen keypads to coins getting stuck to inoperable credit card readers to keys breaking off. That equates to an 18 percent monthly failure rate, or more than 220 percent annually.

Since the completion of the rehab program in December, only 78 meters have had problems in a little more than a month - a failure rate of 5 percent.

Some of those failures may be because the city chose to use refurbished housings, or meters that were inferior.

Mayor Hamilton will continue to work with the vendor until the city finds ongoing maintenance to be at an acceptable level.

City officials may never now how much these failures have shorted the city coffers. Hamilton says that could reach six figures.

The mayor says projected annual net revenue for the meters in both 2014 and 2015 was a little more than $1 million. In 2014 the city collected $259,00 and in 2015 netted about $731,000

Some of that has to do with the meter errors, and another portion likely is attributable to large payments of $240,000 the city still is making on the loan from First Financial Bank that funded the meter purchase. The city also pays about $15,000 per month for data collection and back office monitoring through IPS Group and for credit card processing.

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