Upgrade Incoming for Parking Ticket Management

Prompted by two town officials to change the vendor for managing parking tickets and permits, the Board of Selectmen Tuesday agreed unanimously to install a new system that wirelessly records tickets and will enable residents to apply for parking permits online.
Arguing against continuing to use a system provided by NetTech Solutions of Randolph, NJ, Chris Kaiser, the town's technology director said, "Their service has become terrible. They don't respond to us, they don't get back to us, they want to charge us for every little thing we add."
Underscoring Kaiser's remarks, Karen Miller, Parking Bureau Supervisor, said after 15 years as the town's vendor, NetTech's service is, "no longer acceptable. I think its support services have gotten stale."
Based on their recommendation, the selectmen agreed to sign a contract with Complus Data Innovations of Tarrytown, NY, for its parking ticket management software.
"Greenwich, Bridgeport, Darien and New Haven are "very happy with them," Kaiser said. "Everything [Complus is] doing is where we want to go with these online services."
With the new Complus system, parking enforcement agents will key violations into a handheld device that then prints the ticket. At the same time, the device transmits the information over the air to a computer in Town Hall.
Under the current system, Kaiser said, agents have to return to their office and manually enter the tickets they've given out, "so you're doing the same step twice." He said the town recently spoke with NetTech about handling transactions online, "and they wanted to hit us with this huge lump sum."
The handheld device can also photograph a car in order to record a violation visually, Kaiser said.
The new system also will allow residents to apply for parking permits and renew existing permits through the town Web site.
In terms of the bottom line, Miller said the switch will be basically a wash. NetTech has been charging the town a fee as each ticket is processed, while, based on the volume of tickets the town issues, Complus will collect 12.5 percent of total parking fines and permit fees New Canaan collects at regular intervals.
In the past year New Canaan's Parking Bureau has been operating with a reduced staff, but Miller says the town issues about 12,000 tickets a year. By comparison, Miller said, Greenwich issues about 75,000 parking tickets a year and pays 11 percent of its collections to Complus, while Darien, which issues about 5,000 tickets, pays 15 percent.
Miller said the new system would be installed and the parking attendants trained within the next two months. The old system will run parallel with the new system for a while to ensure it's operating correctly. The town will not be charged for the installation and training.
Complus Data Innovations
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