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Collingswood to Pursue Refund from Metric Parking

The borough is looking to recoup the cost of installing the parking kiosks, which had performed spottily for months.

A parking kiosk from prior vendor, Metric. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.
A parking kiosk from prior vendor, Metric. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.
After months of well-documented issues, Collingswood is looking to recoup its investments from the Metric Group, the previous vendors of its parking kiosks.

Simply put, "it's a warranty case," Solicitor Joseph Nardi told Patch at the December meeting of Collingswood borough commissioners.

Instead of pursuing any potential loss of revenues, Nardi said that Collingswood is seeking a refund in the area of $100,000 for the cost of having installed the kiosks, which did not work as advertised.

(At one point, the non-functioning kiosks had been out of commission for so long that the borough put up signs tagging them as broken until it could get them back online.)

Borough officials never put a dollar figure on the amount of dollars the machines may have cost them, although in its 2012 municipal budget, Collingswood expected to raise $131,000 in parking revenues (up 44 percent, or $47,000, from the $74,000 they produced in 2011).

Final parking revenues reported in the 2013 municipal budget were $133,510.

Keeping up with the devices also "took a significant amount of police time because they had to recharge the batteries [in the pay-by-card devices] constantly," Nardi said.

"That's the kind of thing you can't recover," he said.

In July, the borough announced it was going out to bid for a new parking kiosk vendor after months of frustration with Metric.

Then, at its monthly commissioners meeting in August, the borough named Global Parking Solutions USA its new kiosk vendor.

At the July meeting, Maley said that Collingswood is prepared to sue the company "to recover what it has cost us and what we have lost."

But in December, Nardi said that the borough is still in the fact-finding phase of its refund pursuit.

"Once we get enough information, we'll send [Metric] a letter with our findings," Nardi said. "It could lead to a lawsuit."

Parking has been a hot topic in Collingswood, particularly as the borough looks to refine its off-street parking code

In the meantime, free parking abounds on Haddon Avenue for visiting holiday shoppers throughout the month.
Stephanie Vadillo December 12, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Those kiosks are still really frustrating to use AND CHARGE A $1 MINIMUM if you use a card . . .isn't that what they're for? I love Collingswood and really like some of the stores, but often go elsewhere because of the parking hassles (ie Haddonfield is 12 min for free to run in/out of somewhere) and I've encountered many other frustrated people while at the kiosks, and yes, even AFTER the supposed fixes.
Mister Mike December 12, 2013 at 07:42 PM
I agree Stephanie. Another consideration is that although Haddon Twp installed parking meters a few years ago along Haddon Ave most of the stores are in strip malls with parking lots. You can also dine with no parking costs in Haddon Twp as every restaurant, tavern and diner has its own parking lot. Sounds to me that the Collingswood commissioners may not have thought of all the possibilities , negative as well as positive, in their decision to go with a kiosk system in the first place, albeit they did reach and surpassed their parking revenue goal of $131,000 for 2012. Likewise neither did the Haddon Township (my town) commissioners in making their decision to have parking meters installed. The vast majority of them go unused as their use isn't needed for the most part when you shop and dine in Haddon Township.
MJT530 December 12, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Free parking in Collingswood for the holidays!

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