By Hannah Cruz
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Smart meters installed Thursday in the Gray Street parking lot are tentatively scheduled to be operating by Monday, Jan. 28, city officials said.
The three boxes installed in the city public parking lot, on the south side of Gray Street, between Peters Avenue and Crawford Avenue, allow customers flexible paying options, including with coins, credit or debit cards or even through a cell phone, said city Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary.
“They have many opportunities to pay for it — whatever their choice payment would be. You’ll never get caught without a quarter,” O’Leary said. “You’ll always find a way to pay for your parking.”
The meters charge parking customers a quarter an hour, with the first hour being free, during weekdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Evenings and weekends are free.
O’Leary said the 147-spot parking lot, complete with five free, handicap accessible spots, was specifically designed to meet the needs of Downtown shoppers.
The meters are a result of a $150,000 partner project between the city of Norman, the Norman Downtowners Association and Republic Bank. O’Leary said the city will pay off the short-term loan from the bank with revenue from the meters.
After the loan is paid off, in approximately two years, O’Leary said future revenue will go towards further expanding the smart meter systems, possibly further into Downtown or Campus Corner.
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