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City confident parking meters are working

| Sunday, May 6, 2012, 3:10 p.m.

Greensburg's city administrator said Tuesday that every parking meter on city streets is now working properly.

Susan Trout's statement came after a review last month showed that about one in four parking meters on city streets or kept in storage for repair parts wasn't working correctly.

"I'm confident that the ones out in the street are accurately and correctly working," Trout said yesterday.

October's certification by the Westmoreland County Bureau of Weights and Measures found that of the 952 meters owned by the city, 248 had problems.

City officials said they couldn't provide a breakdown on how many of the defective meters were on the streets or in storage. They estimated that there are about 800 parking meters in use in the city.

"They either needed to be repaired or replaced," Trout said of the defective meters. "Because a lot of them were old, we chose to replace them."

A total 140 new electronic or digital meters were bought this year by the city -- including 50 a few months ago -- to replace older mechanical meters, which had at least 90 percent of the discovered problems, Trout said.

Trout maintained that a weights and measures official said the city's number of defective meters wasn't unusual.

"I've been told the percentage that didn't pass was normal," she said.

Ed Chearney, the director of the county weights and measures bureau, didn't return a telephone call yesterday seeking comment.

The problems with the meters both benefited parkers, with added time, as well as hurt them by not giving them enough time, Trout said.

Police Chief Walter J. "Wally" Lyons said a few people have successfully fought parking tickets because of problems with the meters.

"But I would say that is a rarity, not the general rule," he added of the motorist winning a dispute at the magisterial level.

The meters are required to be certified every three years.

"The reason we were doing it was because there was a person in Butler County who contested (a parking ticket) and they (the meters) hadn't been certified," Trout said.

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