Wow – The Meters did get away from them


Wow – The Meters did get away from them

In the town of Oil City, PA, the parking meters situation has gotten out of hand with 21 percent of the city’s 689 meters not working or missing. The city council received the report recently and was "shocked, shocked that such activity should have been happening in their fair city." Well, at least they were puzzled. (Quotation marks and "quote" mine, and stolen from Casablanca, not theirs."

They haven’t the money to repair and or replace the meters and I guess don’t seem to think that the meters garner enough money to pay for their upkeep. Funny, however, that the little fact of lost income didn’t seem to come up at the city council meeting – see the complete article in the local newspaper, the Derrick, here

They are going to bring someone (unnamed, for some reason) out of retirement to repair or atleast catalogue the meters. If the meters only generate $1 each a day, that’s 35K a year not including citation revenue, which is probably more than the meter income.  I’ll bet the parking dollars are being siphoned into the general fund. Nothing unusual there.

If some meters in some areas arn’t generating revenue, perhaps they could be moved to more lucrative areas and the actual number of meters reduced until funding was available for replacement.

By the way, I scanned the articles from the Derrick and found that the most critical issues in Oil City included the increase in time it would take to drop over to Canada when the new passport laws went into effect, the controversy over the misuse of the city’s credit card, a feature on the local Christan Motorcycle club and concern over school funding. Plus some great obits.

Don’t consider my comment about the obituaries to be flippant. Remember most people get their names in the paper only twice, when they are born and when they die. When I ran a small town country weekly, we spent a lot of time on the obituaries. Rich or poor, well known or obscure, we felt that the chronicle of a person’s life was about the most important thing we did. After all these small papers are just about the only historical record communities like Fillmore (mine) and Oil City have. I have great respect for small town dailies, and weeklies, and it looks like The Derrick fills the bill, But I digress.

Come on, city council, get your act together. Parking Meters should generate revenue. If they don’t — then they should generate citation revenue. Send someone to a parking convention and have them look at meters, meter repair, replacement, or sit in on an on street seminar. A good place to start would be the PIE conference in Baltimore. Its a four hour drive away.  You’ll love it.


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John Van Horn

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