ONEONTA _ The Common Council is continuing with a plan to install new parking meters downtown.

Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to have the city purchasing agent issue a request for proposals for municipal parking meters and related services.

Last November, the Common Council approved a wide-ranging overhaul of the city's downtown parking strategy.

That plan calls for muni-meters on some municipal lots; increased meter fees; installing new meters in the lower level of the parking garage; color-coding to indicate which parking spaces are for two-hour, four-hour or all-day parking; and adding single meters to several downtown side streets.

Under the proposal, the muni-meter rate would be $3 all day. The current rate at meters citywide are 5 cents for 12 minutes, 10 cents for 24 minutes and 25 cents an hour. The plan calls for the single-meter rate to increase to 10 cents for 12 minutes, 25 cents for 24 minutes and 50 cents an hour. Single meters would be added to Dietz Street, Elm Street, Market Street, Ford Avenue and South Main Street.

However, details on exactly where meters will be located and how many there will be are still being hashed out, according to Mayor Dick Miller.

The request for proposals vote is not the final step in approving the muni-meters, according to Miller.

The vote allows the city to examine the options that parking meter equipment companies can provide.

Muni-meters, which are widely used in New York City, are centralized meters for an entire lot. They enable a municipality to have a variety of options in terms of parking enforcement. They also have the ability to accept coins, bills, credit cards and pre-charged cards.

The plan calls for muni-meters at the Westcott and Wall Street lots, as well as the south end of the Dietz Street lot and the lower level of the parking garage. Parking would remain free along Main Street under the plan.

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