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Solar-powered parking meters proposed for West Brook Road

Katie Cassavant and Jason Smegal, of Pittsfield, Mass., inspect one of the pay-and-display meters the village of Lake George installed this year along Canada St. The solar-powered meters accept coins and bills but not credit cards. Officials of the town of Lake George are now considering going one step further — installing pay stations that accept credit cards to serve about 75 parking spaces along property they own on West Brook Road.

Katie Cassavant and Jason Smegal, of Pittsfield, Mass., inspect one of the pay-and-display meters the village of Lake George installed this year along Canada St. The solar-powered meters accept coins and bills but not credit cards. Officials of the town of Lake George are now considering going one step further — installing pay stations that accept credit cards to serve about 75 parking spaces along property they own on West Brook Road.

— As soon as next summer, West Brook Road will likely have solar-powered parking meters that accept credit-card payments, according to an initiative now under consideration by the Lake George Town Board.

The Town Board is seeking to provide convenient paid parking for visitors, while taxpayers of the town are likely to reap $30,000 or more annually in revenue, Lake George Town Supervisor Frank McCoy said Aug. 22.

McCoy said that over the past several days, he had contacted the town board members with the idea, and they had pledged their support.

Three pay-and-display meters would serve about 75 spaces along the eastbound and westbound lanes of West Brook Road that the town owns, and the village government is planning a similar installation on their short east portion of the westbound lane, McCoy said. This spring, the village installed three of the pay-and-display stations along Canada St., and they’ve experienced considerable use, officials have said.

Parking yields considerable revenue for local government coffers. Last summer, the village reaped $458,500 from parking meters, including about $337,000 from Canada Street alone.

Unlike most all the village meters, the town’s proposed pay-and-display meters will be equipped to charge credit and debit cards by satellite hookup, and accept U.S. bills and coins as well as Canadian cash, McCoy said. Such meters offer the convenience of allowing parking without searching out businesses that will exchange quarters for bills, he said. Also, the smart meters allow charging for day-long parking so visitors don’t have to repeatedly hike back to their meters to prevent an overtime parking ticket, he said, noting the devices also are self-auditing and defeat pilferage.

The meters cost about $12,000 apiece, and the initial cost of the meters will likely be paid off in a little more than a year, McCoy said.

The meters should take in $30,000 to $40,000 per year and offer some relief for local taxpayers, he said.

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