Resident and visitors can say goodbye to the old coin meters that currently line the streets of downtown Hudson. New pay stations with coin, credit card and phone payment options will replace them likely this fall.
The Hudson Public Safety Committee approved a contract with Parkeon for 41 pay stations downtown.
Community Development Director Mike Johnson said the parking commission had four responses to a request for proposals for the stations. Though the technology in each proposal was similar, Flowbird offered the best support, training and price.
Johnson said the city will develop an implementation plan to create zones with different pay rates and decide where the parking stations will be located.
The parking stations will be installed all at once, Johnson said, and the old meters removed.
"If anyone wants a souvenir," Johnson joked.
The new stations will still work with the Passport technology the city currently uses that allows parkers to pay by an app or online.
Parking enforcement will be increased to seven days a week, 10 hours a day. Currently it is patrolled five days a week, from nine hours a day.
A full-time parking coordinator and two part-time employees will be hired for parking enforcement. The part-time employees will fill in when the coordinator is off or doing data entry. The positions will be housed under the police department.
"We need a dedicated person," Council Member Randy Morrissette II said.
A new vehicle license plate reader will also be purchased. The reader will show violations, the parking coordinator will verify the violation in person and then print a citation from a smartphone bluetooth printer.
Finance Director Brenda Malinowski said the payback from the revenue and fines for the cost of adding positions is currently estimated at three years or less.
Funding for the initial cost would come from the parking fund which currently has estimated cost of about $360,000 available.
Flowbird will assist with education on the new system, and the city will also work with the Chamber of Commerce and downtown visitors to educate residents and visitors.
The issue will go to finance committee to finalize rates and other cost decisions.
The name Flowbird expresses the innate ability of birds to navigate individually within crowded spaces; mirroring the benefits for people of the intelligent parking and multi-modal systems developed for towns and cities by Parkeon and Cale.
Flowbird’s group resources include 500 R&D engineers working on behalf of customers to push the boundaries of innovation in transportation hardware, software, sensor systems, machine-learning and AI, information security and mobile development.