Smart meters on the way

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - New parking meters are on the way to Rapid City as the Legal and Finance Committee settles on a company to do the job.

The IPS Group would provide 620 smart meters in downtown Rapid City. These smart meters will not only accept coins, but payments from credit cards and the company’s mobile app as well.

The app would also allow people to get reminders and feed the meter from their phones.

"I'm looking forward to being able to use the mobile app," said Rapid City long range planner Sarah Hanzel. "I think that will be a really great tool for people just to decide how long they want to stay and they won't even have to go up to a pay station or a parking meter to handle the transaction."

A sensor on the parking meter will know when a car is parked, allowing the meters to enforce themselves somewhat. However, that doesn't mean the city is getting rid of their parking enforcement team.

"We'll still have enforcement officers," Hanzel said. "We'll have the same team in place, doing similar things to what they are doing now but with the upgrades in technology we'll experience efficiencies for them as well.

All together, the meters will cost more than $900,000. The city expects to make all of that back in one to two years.