Bloomington fixing parking meters after across-the-board failures

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The city of Bloomington is cracking down and fixing parking meters that were failing at a huge rate.

Mayor John Hamilton said Thursday that the city now has its hands around the problem, which he first brought to light in February.

At the time, all of the city's 1,500 parking meters were failing at least two times a year. The monthly fail rate was at 18 percent, meaning you had a one in five chance of picking a meter that wouldn't work.

"They were leaking, they were rusting, they were freezing. Coins were sticking, cards weren’t working, batteries were failing. You can name a way a meter might fail and we found it," Hamilton said.

The city bought the refurbished meters, which housed new software, and installed them in 2013. At the time, many business owners downtown tried to stop the plan, including Phil Gause, who owns Vance Music Center.

"It detracts from downtown, makes it less desirable to come in," Gause said.

He and other business people told FOX59 that they hear from customers all the time about the broken meters.

"I’ve heard a lot of customers say that they’ve put money in (and) it didn’t respond to them," Gause said.

Hamilton said that by cracking down on the company, which is from California, the failure rate is now down to 2.6 percent.

"They’ve committed to get it below two percent failure rate and they’ve also agreed to extend the warranty for another year," Hamilton said.

He also said that he planned to keep  monitoring the  meters, which were installed under the previous administration.

"I think we’re going to be looking at this, all the time, how it works," Hamilton said. "It’s not primarily about how much money does it bring in, it’s about is it producing the downtown that we want."