Thieves have been smashing downtown parking meters while the city must pay a bundle to repair them. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm parking meters take a beating

About 100 meters downtown have been damaged, with thieves getting little buck for their bash

Being a coin-operated parking meter in Salmon Arm is not easy these days.

While vandalism appears to be alive and well, the meters are being beaten into submission as funds bleed out of the city’s replacement budget.

Maurice Roy, the city’s manager of permits and licensing, says about 100 meters have been smashed since mid or late August.

Although the illegal quest for coin is not lucrative for the thieves, it is expensive for the city.

At a cost of a little over $300 to replace the housing for each one, that’s about $30,000 in three months.

“The internal mechanisms are an additional $250 each but most of them have been salvaged,” adds Roy.

Read more: Street parking in downtown Salmon Arm: should it be limited to one hour or two?

Read more: Salmon Arm senior robbed of credit cards in Walmart parking lot

A quick sampling of the Internet shows Salmon Arm is not alone.

In Vancouver, police estimated a 10 per increase in damaged meters over the past year. In Kelowna, about $50,000 in damage was tallied halfway through 2019.

Similar stories of damage were reported in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Whitehorse, Yukon and, south of the border, in St. Petersburg, Florida and Birmingham, Alabama.

The City of Salmon Arm has been exploring replacement options for meters, but those are not cheap.

During last month’s budget deliberations, staff told council they don’t have a price on the new ‘smart’ parking meter technology for the downtown, but it will be in the $200,000 range.

Last year the city’s parking commission recommended that $100,000 be included in the 2019 budget for meters to be installed in the spring of 2020, but 2019 was a tight budget year so that didn’t happen.

In last month’s budget deliberations, council added $25,000 in the 2020 budget to the reserve fund for meters, making a total of $35,000.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘We are not seeking a handout,’ Enderby drive-in owner says

Touched by fundraising efforts, Starlight says show support by coming to the movies instead

$113K boost for North Okanagan charities on COVID-19 frontline

Partnership between United Way and Community Foundation supports organizations from Vernon to Revelstoke

Highway 97 near Falkland reopens after crash

A motor vehicle incident on Douglas Lake Road put the brakes on traffic

WATCH: New home for Vernon family

Single mom, two kids new residents of Habitat for Humanity’s first completed project in Vernon

POLL: Drinks in the park in Vernon?

City councillor wonders if allowing drinks in public places may help local businesses

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Summerland amends procedure for virtual council meetings, adding transparency

During COVID-19 pandemic, meetings have been held using online technology

Motor trike crashes into hole in Kelowna

A man was taken to hospital after crashing his trike on Anderson Road

Most Read