- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SYCAMORE, Ill. (AP) - The penny parking meters in Sycamore may be running out of time.

The northern Illinois city is one of the few places in the country where penny parking meters are used. But city officials say the more than 300 meters that line downtown streets require timers from a company that no longer makes them.

The DeKalb Daily Chronicle reports (https://bit.ly/1JWWbzI ) that an Associated Press story in December about the decades-old meters prompted communities and businesses from New Jersey, Texas, Ohio and Arizona to contact Sycamore. But it was soon clear that those communities and businesses did not have the answer.

“No one has the timers that we need,” said Giovanni Serra, a parking enforcement officer who also repairs the meters, told the newspaper. “As far as screws and stuff go, we got all that. As far as timers go, we have a big problem. “

Sycamore officials are still hopeful that someone, somewhere, has timers that fit the meters, which have proven a draw for visitors who like the idea of spending their money in stores and not at the meter.

Most of the meters work fine - the city hasn’t had to replace a timer in at least eight years - but Serra said he’s noticed some of the timers are either moving too slow or too fast.

Officials in Sycamore, a city about 60 miles west of Chicago, have joked that they will refuse to allow Serra to retire because he’s the one who fixes the meters. And in December, Mundy said he didn’t think the future of the penny parking meters was bright, given the diminishing supply of parts.

The city has not wanted to switch to digital parking meters. But if it runs out of timers, Serra said, that might happen.

___

Information from: The Daily Chronicle, https://www.daily-chronicle.com


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