Contractors "Renting" Parking from City, Bagging Meters

2 years 8 months 1 week ago April 01, 2014 Apr 1, 2014 Tuesday, April 01 2014 Tuesday, April 01, 2014 4:19:00 PM CDT in News
By: Devon Fasbinder, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - When people see parking meters with red cloth bags or orange plastic bags over them, many think those meters are broken and the city is going to fix them. That's not the case. The bags have nothing to do with the condition of the meters and everything to do with the crews working around them.

"These are used to reserve the metered spots by contractors that are doing some type of work in the area where they need to park their construction vehicles or they need to park their construction equipment or dumpsters or things like that," said Steven Sapp, the Public Information Specialist for Columbia Public Works.

When contractors do their work in the downtown area, they can apply to "rent" metered parking spots from the city. If the contractor needs fewer than 48 hours, it would apply for a plastic covering. If it needs more time, a cloth covering is necessary. According to Section 107-314 of Ordinance 19036, the company pays a flat rate of $8.00 a day per single meter or $16.00 a day for double meters plus a $15.00 deposit per meter if the city accepts the application. Or if the contractor plans to rent the space for an extremely long time, it can pay $150.00 per month or $1,600 per year. The contractor can then park work vehicles in those spots since it compensated the city for them.

If regular drivers park in these spots, they are at risk for tow and a citation, but the Parking Enforcement Agents don't monitor those themselves. Sapp said the bagged spots are monitored on a complaint basis.

"So if the contractor arrives and finds that somebody not affiliated with his business has parked in that spot, he would contact our Parking Utility Office. They would send a Parking Enforcement Agent, and they would issue a citation and tow the vehicle," Sapp said.

Sapp said it is nearly 100 percent complaint driven because enforcement agents cannot tell which vehicles are supposed to be in those spots.

Contractors aren't the only ones allowed to rent these spots. According to the ordinance, private utility companies can rent spots for service vehicles. Churches and businesses can rent spots if they need them for business-related issues. The same prices apply. In addition, people who are handicapped, show a need for the spot because of employment, who are not transported via ambulance or who show a physician's certificate of need regarding their handicap can rent meters. Those meters cost $2.50 per day or $50.00 per month. Along the same lines, banks are allowed to bag metered spots on their own.

For instance, Landmark Bank in downtown Columbia bags several spots and reserves them for five minute parking for clients. But, like the contractors, the bank has to pay a flat fee to the city. Sapp said the new hotel on Broadway bought 100 spots in Short Street Parking Garage as well as a few spots along Broadway. These now have signs that reserve the parking for the hotel and in turn, the hotel pays. All of those meters will have bags on them, but they are still working properly.

"Meters that are out of service do not have any type of bag over them," Sapp said. "They may have a note from Parking Utility that says that the meter's out of service, but otherwise there's really no visual indicator of that."

Parking Supervisor Tanner Morrell said when meters actually are broken, it is the citizen's responsibility to report the malfunction to the Parking Utility Office. But he said the department often gives leeway.

"As long as we can verify that the meter is malfunctioning, we'll issue or we'll allow that person to park there without penalty," Morrell said.

Morrell said if an agent comes up to a metered spot that appears to be broken, the agent will check it out. Sometimes the color wheel will not work but the meter is still keeping time accurately. If the agent finds the meter really is malfunctioning and there is a car in the spot, Morrell said the agent will give the person the benefit of the doubt and once it's fixed, put enough money in the meter to pay for the full time the meter allows.

"We try to show some compassion in those situations because the person probably tried to pay the meter," Morrell said.

But with the covers, the enforcement agents do not give the person the benefit of the doubt because the bag says "Tow Away Zone" directly on it.

Sapp said, "Any time people see the orange bag over a meter or the bright red bag over a meter, they need to know not to park there."

To see the application for the cloth meters, click here. To see the application for the plastic meters, click here.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's outgoing Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is giving clemency to 15 people convicted of drug-related crimes... More >>
2 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:50:05 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former director of Missouri's unemployment benefits agency has agreed to a $2 million settlement to... More >>
2 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:36:46 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A woman assaulted as a girl during a 1982 attack that killed her mother wants... More >>
2 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:27:25 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway said she's reviewing state legal payments following reports of harassment and employee... More >>
2 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:16:29 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will work as a private attorney at a suburban St. Louis law... More >>
3 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 7:58:34 PM CST in News
SIKESTON (AP) — Police are investigating the shooting death of a high school student in southeast Missouri. KFVS-TV reports... More >>
3 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 7:52:30 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - In an effort to increase access to healthy food choices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced new standards... More >>
4 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 7:01:00 PM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY - A fire forced a family to evacuate its Boone County home Friday afternoon. Firefighters responded to... More >>
5 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 5:17:00 PM CST in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Prosecutors charged a Holts Summit man with multiple felonies Friday in connection to a domestic dispute. ... More >>
6 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 4:52:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Many students worry their peers won't pay appropriately for a sexual misconduct offense. A bill being introduced to... More >>
7 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 3:25:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Gov. Jay Nixon announced recently visitors to the state and tourism spending are at an all-time high for... More >>
8 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 2:35:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two men suffered serious injuries in a head-on crash on Highway 50 Friday morning, the Jefferson City... More >>
8 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 2:26:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri System came out with a report Thursday that shows how much the system saves... More >>
9 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 1:56:00 PM CST in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Three juveniles have been arrested in connection with a threat to a southeast Missouri high school.... More >>
9 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 1:32:20 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A woman assaulted as a girl during a 1982 attack that killed her mother wants... More >>
10 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 12:28:38 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A jury has convicted a man of shooting two police officers during a 2015 protest in... More >>
10 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 12:22:20 PM CST in News
SEDALIA - The Sedalia Police Department said Friday it is looking for two suspects following a shooting and armed robbery.... More >>
11 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 11:31:00 AM CST in News
FULTON - A Tebbetts man has been charged with several felonies following his arrest Wednesday night. Callaway County deputies... More >>
14 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:42:00 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 24°
11pm 23°
12am 23°
1am 22°
2am 21°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
10:30p
The King of Queens
11:00p
Rules of Engagement
11:30p
Rules of Engagement

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Vampire Diaries
8:00p
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld