Wednesday the Norman City Council’s finance committee gave direction to city staff to bring the item forward to the full council for a vote on Tuesday.
The city asked for bids for single space and multispace meters. The multispace meters are currently being used in the downtown parking lot located at Gray Street and Peters Avenue, but Corner merchants said they believe single-space meters would be more appropriate for the Campus Corner parking solution.
“Option two, the individual meter, is significantly less costly so we’re recommending that,” said city engineer Angelo Lombardo.
Those meters will cost $77,115 for the meters, $39,750 for 159 parking space sensors and $12,015 for installation, spare parts and training to total $128,880 based on a bid by IPS, Inc., Lombardo said.
The Campus Corner TIF fund has $136,639 remaining and can be used to pay for the parking meters. The TIF was closed out some time ago and improvements on the Corner completed and paid. The city has been sitting on the remaining TIF money and would like to close out that account.
Last year, city leaders asked Campus Corner merchants how they would like to use that remaining TIF money. The merchants said they wanted new parking meters.
In addition to being more customer friendly, the new meters can be programed to meet a variety of parking needs based on time of day, special events and other concerns. Campus Corner merchants would be able to validate the machines to provide a customer refund. The system is “easy to reprogram if the management strategy changes,” Lombardo said.
In other words, hourly rates could be easily changed.
The merchants also want to be able to put signs at special commercial loading zones and make those meters refuse to accept parking at certain times of the morning.
Some Campus Corner merchants would like to keep that TIF money for other uses, said Jeff Stewart of O’Connell’s Pub and Grill.