Parking meters in Kelowna have the target of vandals in the past few months, and the problem is getting worse says the city’s parking coordinator.
“In about three months, the problem has escalated with (the tops of) single meters being smashed off, or (the entire meter) being ripped right from the ground,” said Dave Duncan.
According to Duncan, the issue was continued over the Canada Day long weekend when maintenance crews estimate 85 meters were vandalized.
“It’s frustrating because it feels like we are always having maintenance workers run out to fix the meters when (the workers) could be doing other things with their time,” said Duncan.
The city has ordered 60 new meters to replace the broken ones, the new meters will have touch screen options, so motorists can use their cards or the pay-by-phone option.
“We will have about a third of the meters repaired,” said Duncan.
However, it may take up to three years to acquire the budget to repair all the broken meters, something he said the city plans to do when the city can afford the newer model meters.
He is encouraging drivers to use the pay-by-phone app when parking in the city, that way they can add more time from anywhere.
The city is also asking the public to be vigilant and if someone is seen vandalizing meters or other property, to call the RCMP at 250-762-3300.
“I know there have been at least two people arrested due to damaging meters,” said Duncan.