Correction: Oxford parking meter bids story

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - In a March 19 about bidding on a contract to provide parking meters in Oxford, The Associated Press erroneously reported the amount of the lowest bid. The low bid was $386,784.

A corrected version of the story is below.

Parking meter bids stalled

Oxford board wants more info before giving OK to parking plan

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - The Oxford Parking Commission is holding off on recommending a contract bid on about 300 parking meters for the downtown area.

The Oxford Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/1l3zimx) the commission will make recommendation to the city’s board of alderman, which has the final decision.

City Planner Tim Akers said three bids came in with Bennett Construction having the lowest bid of $386,784 for basic services.

The bids also came with alternative bids that included upgrades on technology and software for parking sensors that would allow parking officials to know if a vehicle has left a parking space or has been sitting there with its owner “feeding” the meters. The alternative would add about another $100,000 to the cost.

Parking Commission member Kevin Frye said the sensors were necessary, particularly to help manage parking on home football game weekends.

“We haven’t really talked about game-day weekends yet,” Frye said. “I thought our main goal was to manage parking. If we decide to limit the time people can be parked on the Square on those Saturdays, we would need this for enforcement.”

Parking Manager Matt Davis said the city wants to start off simple and once the community is used to the new metered parking system, other technology can be added.

Other questions were about the use of credit or debit cards and how fees on the use of those cards would be handed.

Commissioner Jeff Triplette said he was not comfortable voting to recommend the bid to the aldermen without more information.

“I don’t run a business that way and I, for one, won’t vote on inaccurate information,” he said. “I have yet to see a viable operational budget for this system. We were told this would be significantly cheaper than what we have right now and I’m not seeing that.”

Parking Commission Chairman Tom Sharpe said the system will probably cost the city close to the same $250,000 a year that it is currently paying to be contracted with Standard Parking to manage the parking downtown.

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