Katz said he also wanted to correct false information.
“I was looking at a website, and someone commented that if our intention was to make money off the tourists then we should just have paid parking during the summer and not the rest of the year,” he said. “The next person commenting said ‘that’s a great idea. Why didn’t our village officials think of that?’”
The new paid parking is seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. On weekends, it will extend until Oct. 31.
Katz’s response came after several letters to the editor in local papers and private, often second-hand, complaints about problems with the 13 pay-and-display machines that are now spread out along Main and Pioneer streets.
Among the list of early system failures:
On Memorial Day weekend, several machines initially failed and had to be rebooted.
All the machines had to be reprogrammed to accept payment in 15 minute increments after being mistakenly set to only accept payment for hour blocks. Instead of paying 50 cents for 15 minutes, the minimum payment allowed was $2 for an hour.
Vending partner Access Technology Integration, Inc. has been on site, “almost every day” according to Katz, during the first two weeks of operation to fix problems.
On June 6, not long after the public forum, the machines went out of service again. This time it turned out to be a system-wide problem with an ATI server and was not a Cooperstown-specific issue.
Some parking tickets have been issued while people were paying or trying to resolve broken machine questions.
“That’s kind of a standard problem,” Katz said. “If that happens, you can go down to the police department with your ticket and they will see if the times match up and they will rescind those tickets.”