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March 14, 2013

Trustees choose parking machines

Color screens and an upstate vendor proved to be the difference in Cooperstown’s Board of Trustees selecting Access Technology Integration Inc. to provide 13 coin-and-card multi-space parking machines for the village in time for this year’s tourist season.

The board held a special meeting about the 2013 budget on Friday, adding two time-sensitive pieces of business to the agenda.

ATI and Hectronic of Chesapeake, Va., were the two vendors that made the final stage of the bid selection. Four companies had originally submitted bids, but the two low bidders were selected for follow-up presentations.

ATI’s headquarters are in Troy, and it use machines from a company called Parkeon, which offers the color screens. The screens were so new they were not available for demo, but the board was impressed with pictures of the screens that are much larger and clearer than the non-color screens. The color screens also reduce glare better.

Hectronic does not yet offer similar screens.

“It’s such an important thing, I’d rather err on the side of caution,” board member Jim Dean said. “We want to cut down on the amount of time it takes people to use the machines. We want to make people’s experiences with the machines as pleasant as possible.”

Trustee Cynthia Falk said the reputation of Parkeon and ATI is impeccable.

“Every municipality I’ve spoken to was very happy with Parkeon machines, but since they were not all ATI, I also talked to the University of Albany, which uses ATI for its parking,” she said. “They are very happy with ATI. They said that with any problems ATI responds very quickly.”

The color screens added $13,000 to the purchase price, which will come in at just more than $100,000 when covers and set-up fees are factored in. The board learned at the beginning of the meeting that ATI had in-stock the green machines that board members preferred for aesthetic reasons over the standard gray ones.

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