Privatization of parking meters in Jackson continues - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Privatization of parking meters in Jackson continues

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

3 On Your Side was first to tell you about parking meter problems in Jackson.

The debate continued Tuesday at the City Council meeting. The proposal on the table would allow a private company to take over the meter operation and increase fees, but some people want to keep things local.

There are more than 1000 parking meters in the city of Jackson; while some work, many don't - resulting in unpaid tickets and  lost revenue. The city wants to hire Hudson Associates to take over the operation.

"A private company comes in, they put the money up front and give the city an opportunity to see revenue in the first year utilizing the opportunity," said Mayor Tony Yarber.

The city is expected boost earnings by $150,000 yearly.  Also under the plan, the old, broken meters will be replaced with modern ones that you can use a credit card or cell phone to pay.  

The city also wants to increase hourly parking costs from $.50 to a $1.00 or more.

“The problem with privatization is that a private firm is always going to take a cut of the earnings in this case,” said Jackson resident Catherine Robinson.

During Tuesday's council meeting, some residents spoke out against the privatization partnership. They say the city is losing money because it's lazy with forcing violators to pay tickets, a problem that can be fixed internally.

"I can go out here today and guarantee you in the next five hours I have written 100 tickets, but no one is enforcing it people, they are just there and It is a shame the city is wasting so much money,” said Ruby Michaels.

While most of the council still favors to go private, they agreed to do more research and take up the proposed plan next meeting.  

“I applaud the council," said Mayor Yarber. "They are just doing their due diligence. We have placed some new information before them today and they are simply doing their job. We are confident that we will see the parking situation come to the 21st century.”  

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