Police take on added role with parking kiosks in Jerome
JEROME — The Jerome Town Council met with Police Chief Allen Muma Tuesday and ironed out details for enforcement before budgeting funds for parking kiosks in town.
The Council is still reviewing details on where to purchase the kiosks, but at Tuesday’s hearing, the consensus was to budget $125,000 toward the parking plan, which the town will manage itself.
This would allow the town to avoid the high management fees of a parking fee consultant, the council agreed.
The Town of Jerome is close to installing parking kiosks in town to take advantage of the busy tourist traffic to help pay for needed infrastructure improvements.
Muma took it one step further and said his police department would try to do the enforcement of the parking tickets without initially adding any more staff to the police department; and said town staff can be used to manage and maintain the kiosk parking program.
He also said he understood the management company was in “business,” but thought he and the town could easily manage the installation, operation and software that comes with the purchase of the kiosks.
So, the town budgeted $125,000 toward the purchasing, installation and getting the kiosk program off the ground, but also budgeted and anticipated $125,000 in revenue expected to be generated by the kiosks.
In addition, Muma urged the council to budget another anticipated $20,000 in revenues that would be generated through unpaid fines.
Muma said he thought his officers could handle the extra duty of writing the parking tickets, and if it becomes a stress on their hours, they can visit the issue next budget year and consider a part-time person once they see where the revenues end up.
“I don’t see at this point in time where it’s something we have to hire somebody for,” the chief told the council. “It will general parking fine revenue as well.”
The council has received bids from several kiosk companies and they are looking at costs and options, such as design, whether they print out receipts, software, Wifi and compatibility with other parking lots in other cities.
Some software allows the town to program in residents and town workers to get special designation in the kiosk parking areas, as well as guests at local inns. Those parking details still have to be worked out by the council.
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