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Ready, set ... wait: Short delay for meter system



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The new parking pay stations that are replacing the old meters in Lake Geneva. (click for larger version)

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May 02, 2012 | 08:13 AM
The new parking pay station system was supposed to be ready by May 1 but the city is a few days behind schedule, City Administrator Dennis Jordan reports.

He's expecting the space markers and decals to arrive this week. It'll take another week or more before they're fully installed. So, in the meantime, drivers will be using the old meters as they've done before. Parking will be 50 cents an hour, not the $1 per hour it will be once the new kiosk system is set up. Senior stickers will also be valid until the switch-over.

Jordan said his office has received concerns from senior citizens about the elimination of the red senior citizen stickers. The blue stickers, used by residents, are still valid and free. To obtain one, bring your driver's license, a utility bill and auto registration to City Hall.

The residential stickers allow you to park at any meter for two hours per day. However, if you move your car to another stall and you've already used up your two hours, you'll be done with the free parking for the rest of that day.

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Jordan said the decision to eliminate the senior stickers had to do as much with mechanical issues as anything else. Under the new system, the meter attendants will use a hand-held device to monitor the stickers and it can only track one set of stickers. The new machines will take quarters, one dollar coins, $1 and $5 bills as well as a credit card. You'll also be able to extend your time from your cell phone if it's properly equipped. However, he emphasized that the new machines do not give change. "Print that in big letters," he said.

For those who need quarters, the city still has four change machines downtown for those wanting to change bills. They're located at Fancy Fair Mall, the Riviera and the Cornerstone Shop. A permanent location hasn't been determined for the fourth machine.

The city staff has already held informational meetings for merchants and plans to go door-to-door to make sure everyone understands the system. There will also be an informational video soon on the city's website.

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