LEAVENWORTH — The days of people being able to park downtown all day for free are coming to an end.
Meters will be added throughout the downtown core, and vehicle detection sensors will be added to those stalls and the paid parking lots to help with enforcement. Free lots will remain unpaid for now.
“We’re in the process of adding some that won’t even be metered right now but that would still allow us to set the time limit,” Mayor Carl Florea said. “For instance, our City Hall lot has a two-hour time limit but it’s never been actively enforced. But if we had those sensors, even though we weren’t charging, it would tell us when those two hours were up and we could enforce that.”
He said it’ll likely take three or four months to get the equipment ordered and installed. The move follows a Feb. 6 open house on paid and timed downtown parking, and there will be other public meetings to discuss factors such as how much to charge for parking.
The city expects the meters to pay for themselves.
Last week the City Council approved a contract with Duncan Parking Technologies, a subsidiary of Wisconsin-based CivicSmart.
Upfront costs are $376,624. Estimated five-year costs, including monthly fees and warranty, are $518,406.
The contract includes:
- 653 vehicle detection sensors
- 179 dual space and 45 single space meters
- 10 kiosks
- Adding the city to existing mobile apps for people to find parking spots and pay
- Meter management system
- Enforcement software
- Project manager to oversee implementation and coordinate vendors and software
The city is also expecting to spend up to $150,000 for personnel and equipment costs for maintenance, enforcement and administration. Florea said the Leavenworth Parking Advisory Committee has recommended the city hire someone to handle enforcement and data collection.
According to City Council documents, Duncan Parking Technologies provided the only response to a request for proposals. The city contacted other equipment providers and found that Duncan was competitive in pricing and also the only company able to provide additional technological services.
Florea said the goal is to encourage employees and all-day visitors to use parking lots and save the downtown stalls for customers and people only staying a few hours.
“We’ll get a clear picture of how much each spot is used and how many openings there are on any given day or any given hour,” he said.