Published Thu, Feb 23, 2012 4:46 pm Dateline
Change in Athens might be made possible thanks to a different kind of change.
Last year, the City of Athens collected over $386,000 in parking meter revenue from nearly 800 meters that line the city streets.
The revenue is appropriated into areas that will help the city when it is in need.
“All of the revenue that is collected from the parking meters goes directly back to the city’s general fund,” says Athens Chief of Police Tom Pyle.
Athens residents and Ohio University students alike seem to have an understanding that loose change collected is good for the community.
“The city has to do what it has to do to make money,” says Matthew Box Athens resident. “The university being here and being tax exempt from all their property taxes and everything… They have to make revenue somehow.”
Ohio University student Rebecca Fischer seems to echo the sentiment of one who is in a hurry to get from place to place.
“If I’m running late and meters are open I’m not going to complain,” she says with a laugh. “I’m always happy to see one.”
But what doesn’t make city employees happy, including Chief Pyle, is the lost revenue from these meters as a result of theft.
Pyle estimates that anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 has been stolen from the meters in given years.
In the future, the city plans to obtain new meters that are more secure.