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Mayor's press conference on parking meters

Purchase/Installation:

In order to implement the parking ordinance passed by City Council, in May of 2013, the City of Bloomington purchased 1,500 parking meters from IPS, a vendor in San Diego, California, at a cost of $1,865,175. Refurbished housings were bought at a savings of $90,000. The City also purchased a license to use IPS software that tracks the amount of money each meter generates. The City financed this purchase through First Financial Bank and is making semi-annual payments. The remaining balance due to the bank is $738,844 with final payment scheduled for July of 2017. The City pays IPS a $10,000 monthly processing fee for data collection and back office monitoring and approximately $5,000 per month for credit card processing.

IPS installed the meters in August 2013. While the projected annual net revenue for 2014 and 2015 was $1,063,000, the actual annual net revenue generated per year was $495,000.

Meter Issues:

Since installation nearly every meter has failed to work properly. With the help of the City's IT department, the City has been tracking the performance of each meter since installation, and we have experienced problems at a rate of 277 per month, for an average monthly failure rate of 18%.

Issues have included frozen keypads, no backlighting at night, coins getting stuck, meters installed at improper depth, inoperable credit card readers, main batteries dying and not recharging, rusting or ill-fitting meter housings, and keys breaking off in the meter box key holes.

Working to Resolve with IPS:

The City has been working with IPS to correct these issues, under warranty, since 2013. For the last six months, we have held weekly teleconferences with IPS, and the company sent officials and technicians from San Diego to Bloomington to see the issues first-hand. Ultimately IPS implemented a comprehensive repair and replacement effort. Between September and December 2015, The vast majority of the 1,500 meters were sent back to San Diego, fully diagnosed, repaired, and sent back to Bloomington for re-installation. IPS covered the costs of these repairs.

In the month since completion of this effort last December, another 78 meters have experienced problems, which is a 5% failure rate. We believe this rate is still too high, and IPS agrees. We continue to work with the vendor, under extended warranty, and will do so until the City finds ongoing maintenance to be at an acceptable level.

Conclusion:

The majority of Bloomington's parking meters appear to be operating as intended and continue to bring in revenue and implement the parking meter program as enacted by Council. However, the meters are still operating at a 5% monthly failure rate which is unacceptable. The City will continue to work with IPS to get the failure rate to an acceptable level. In the event IPS is unable to get its meters operating as contracted, the City is willing to investigate other options.