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New SMART Meters could raise the price to park in downtown Springfield

New SMART Meters could raise the price to park in downtown Springfield. (Emily Manley)

New parking meters could be coming to downtown Springfield, but the proposed plan could come at a higher cost for drivers.

The city said most of the meters downtown are broken and have problems, so a fix to the problem was proposed at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

Putting money in the parking meters could be a thing of the past if aldermen vote to buy new ones.

The current parking meters were installed downtown in 1994 and are starting to have some problems.

The goal is to replace 800 of the 2,000 parking meters with Smart Meters.

The new meters would allow driver to pay by cash, credit, or by an app.

Installing the meters though could cost drivers more though.

The city's parking coordinator said if the proposal is approved, he wants the city to raise prices from 50 cents an hour to a dollar an hour to cover the cost of the meters.

Some aldermen are opposed to raising the cost.

"I'm not in favor of raising the meter rates because people need to be able to come downtown and I think if we raised the rates we would be sending the wrong message," Fifth Ward Alderman Andrew Proctor said.

Proctor said he thinks the city should go with just adding a service allowing people to pay meters with an app and not install completely new meters.

If the proposal ends up passing the city council, residents could expect to see the new meters this summer.

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