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November 19. 2012 9:46PM

Nashua eyes pay stations for parking

NASHUA - Struggling to find spare change to fill the city's downtown parking meters may soon be a distant memory, as city officials this week will review a proposal to purchase several parking pay stations.

Mayor Donnalee Lozeau is hoping to eventually replace all the traditional coin-operated parking meters in the downtown area with new parking pay stations, including the meters now housed on the lower levels of the city's two municipal parking garages.

The stations operate on solar power and accept credit cards, debit cards and coins.

On Wednesday, the aldermanic Finance Committee will view two bids on the proposed project. City officials are suggesting that CALEAmerica be awarded one of the contracts to provide parking pay stations at a base cost of $6,550 each.

The first phase includes the purchase of four pay stations for the two garages on Elm Street and High Street. According to the proposal, two pay stations will be placed in each of the garages during the first phase, totaling $28,400.

"The city also negotiated with T2, the leading software company in this field, to upgrade the software associated with parking and enforcement," said Robert Gabriel, purchasing manager, in a memo to Lozeau. The software upgrade has a price tag of $68,632, according to Gabriel.

The committee will also review a separate proposal for the second phase, which includes the installation of 20 pay stations along Main Street. This $140,000 project could be funded with anticipated parking revenue projected at more than $728,000 in 2012.

The Downtown Improvement Committee has voted to recommend that parking revenues from Main Street be used to help pay for the parking pay stations in the downtown area.

Last fall, parking fees were increased and time limits slashed for some prime parking spots along Main Street. Since then, some downtown business owners have claimed the meter changes are hurting business. A petition signed by about 200 was circulated earlier this year asking aldermen to reconsider the changes.

khoughton@newstote.com


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