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Hotline Can't Guarantee an Answer

Posted: Jul 22, 2013 4:22 PM by Lexi Spivak, KOMU-8 Reporter
Updated: Jul 22, 2013 11:36 PM

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COLUMBIA - The City said that there are not enough resources to constantly man the phone lines responsible for broken meter complaints. Thirty calls by KOMU 8 News Thursday night went unanswered between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

"We currently, and in the foreseeable future, do not have the resources to staff our offices on weekends or Holidays," said Steven Sapp with the Public Works Department in an email to KOMU.

"Basically it's economics and our data shows that really our failure rates on meters are fairly low," he said. "So to staff someone on Saturdays when we are enforcing parking meters simply wouldn't make economic sense to us and is not fiscally responsible."

The hotline also goes unstaffed during the last few hours of the workday, even though drivers are required to pay the meter.

The phone line hours are 8:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. according to a hotline operator contacted by KOMU 8 News Friday morning.

Parking Enforcement Agent Kim Heibel gave some advice about what to do if your call does go unanswered. If no one answers the phone, they can leave a message with their complaint.

Drivers can bring in the ticket if one is issued and the department would do further research based on personal records of previous parking tickets to see if a reimbursement is in order.

Kim said options like the new credit card meters on Ninth Street are helping make her job easier and was being perceived well by the public.

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