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Tyrone Borough plans to soon reprogram parking meters to take nickels, dimes and quarters

There has been much ado about the parking meter situation in Tyrone Borough ever since 144 new electronic meters replaced the old meters downtown at the end of last year.
The new meters only take quarters, which provides one half hour of parking for each quarter put into the meter, with up to two hours of parking. Many Tyrone residents, business owners, and visitors to the borough felt that a quarter was a lofty price when the majority of downtown shoppers may only visit a store for five or ten minutes.
The borough originally had 153 parking meters, but several meters were removed in front of the old YMCA building on Logan Avenue, and 12 of the original nickel and dime meters still exist in different downtown areas.
At last evening’s borough council work session, council decided to make plans to reprogram the 144 new meters to accept a nickel for five minutes of parking, a dime for ten minutes of parking, and a quarter for one half hour of parking downtown.
The borough also plans to replace the 12 old meters that still exist with similar electronic meters that are already installed downtown. The borough highway department and police department will be working to have the old meter heads removed until the new meters are obtained.
When the borough purchased the 144 new electronic meters from POM Inc. last year, the funds for the project were budgeted in the police department fund. Last month, council thought that the meter situation might have to be put on hold until next year’s budget, but last night council decided to take money from this year’s general fund so that the issue could be resolved quicker.
According to Bobra Wilbanks, POM Inc. technical sales manager, it will only cost the borough $100 to reprogram the 144 new meters downtown. The borough will have to rent a handheld communicator, at $100, that can reprogram each meter from the present quarter price for one half hour, to a nickel, dime, and quarter system.
The 12 old meters that still exist in the borough can be replaced with new meters at a cost of $1,502.52. Each new meter costs $125.21, with shipping included.
The borough hopes that the meter switch over will ease the many concerns and complaints it has received from residents and business owners.
“We didn’t have any complaints when it was nickel, dime, and quarter, other than from certain people,” said Councilperson Bill Latchford. “But in regards to people having to pop in a quarter just to walk in somewhere for five minutes to pick up something, I think that was what the biggest contention was.”
Mayor James Kilmartin thinks that reprogramming the meters is “good.” The mayor recently received his own parking ticket downtown last week while he was attending a ribbon cutting at the new Verizon store.
“I think council’s heard the different business owners and residents’ complaints,” said Kilmartin. “I think this is going to be a great compromise.”
Council will make a final decision at the Monday, May 12 regular session. If it is voted to move forward with the reprogramming and replacing of the existing 12 old meters, downtown parking prices will significantly drop in the coming months.