Digital Meters Coming to Clearfield Borough

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield Borough Council is moving ahead with the purchase of digital meters for the downtown core.

That decision was made during Thursday night’s meeting of Clearfield Borough Council.

Terry Malloy of Park & Shop Inc. proposed purchasing 100 digital meters for the borough through council, with Park & Shop also purchasing 100 digital meters. Malloy estimated the cost would be roughly $100 per meter. Due to bidding guidelines, council opted to purchase 98 meters, which put the cost under the $10,000 bidding threshold.

According to Malloy’s proposal, the borough would purchase a set number of meters using the 2008 budget. The remainder of the cost would be loaned to the borough from Park & Shop interest-free and will be paid off within three years, beginning in 2009.

Park & Shop will also purchase a programmable parking meter hand-held PDA with cables and software at a cost of $1,800 and then turn it over to Clearfield Borough.

Malloy asked that the borough complete all necessary requirements with the PA Department of Weights and Measures to get all new meters certified and to also provide the labor to install all new digital meters for both the borough and Park & Shop. He also asked the borough to facilitate the sale of the borough’s old meters as well as Park & Shops and to use those funds to purchase new meters for the borough (roughly 130-140).

He asked that a representative from the borough office, the police department and Park & Shop become familiar with the parking meter computer program. Malloy also asked that the borough consult with downtown merchants and professional offices before making meter rate changes or ticket violation increases. He also asked that the borough consider offering free parking on the outskirts of town as an incentive to employees of downtown businesses.

Malloy recommended going with Park O’ Meter, or POM. He said their machines use four AA batteries which need to be replaced once every two years. He called POM’s computer program impressive, noting that it would help them pass inspection.

“We’re losing a lot of these (old meters) because they don’t pass inspection,” said Malloy. “The program would save us a lot in the future.”

Borough Operations Manager Leslie Stott said she has received a number of calls regarding the fee structure.

“We’ve been asked by merchants to leave it as is,” said Stott.

Council was looking at making the fee structure .25 per half hour, with a two hour time limit in the downtown core.

Council agreed, and will not change the fee structure in the core, keeping at .25 per hour for a maximum of two hours.

Malloy also said that everyone he’s talked to would like to see council allow the usage of nickels, dimes and quarters. He said with the old machines they had to pay extra to get the additional coin slots. Malloy said the digital machines take all three coins through the same slot.

Police Chief Jeff Rhone and Malloy were directed to go ahead with the new parking meters.

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