Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

A kiosk crib sheet

April 19, 2012

Now that tax day has passed, thereís another date to remember.

May 1.

Thatís the target date for the new parking kiosks in Lake Geneva to take effect.

Hereís a guide:

Cost: The charge for parking will increase from 50 cents an hour to $1. You can pay with cash, coin or credit card. Youíll also be able to pay from your cell phone if itís properly equipped. A app will also work. Those methods will work remotely, too, so you can add minutes while sitting at a restaurant.

Time: Most meters are good for five hours. Red meters are 25 minutes. The 12-minute meters in front of the library will become red meters.

Resident stickers: Those blue stickers reserved for residents will allow you to park two hours free once a day. However, if you move to another stall and youíve already used up your two hours, youíll be done with free parking until the next day. If you want a resident sticker, bring a driverís license, utility bill or car registration to city hall. The stickers are free.

Senior stickers: Those red stickers reserved for senior residents will no longer be valid. You can, however, get a blue resident sticker. Unfortunately, youíll only get two hours free parking once a day like other locals, instead of parking free up to the meterís limit.

How to: The current meter heads will be replaced by signs identifying your stall number. You simply walk to one of the conveniently placed kiosks and follow its instructions. Oh, by the way, youíll also be able to purchase beach passes. The kiosk will ask you if you want to pay for parking or purchase a beach pass. Choose wisely.

Cost to the city: The kiosks cost about $900,000. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) money covered $690,000; the remainder came from already collected parking funds. Currently, the city receives about $430,000 in parking revenue annually. City Administrator Dennis Jordan expects that number to rise because of the cost increase. In addition, the city collects about $225,000 from parking tickets. Jordan expects that to drop because the new meters will make it easier for people to manage. Beach pass revenue may also go up.

Pressure, pressure, pressure: Instead of running away when you see a meter attendant, ask them for help instead. Jordan said he wants the ticket-givers to be ambassadors for the city as people get comfortable with the new meters.

More info: View a demonstration of the kiosks Wednesday, April 25, from 3-4 p.m. at the Lake Geneva City Hall, 626 Geneva Street.

And just think, you probably wonít need a parking meter crib sheet for another 10-15 years. Thatís how long Jordan estimates the new ones to last.