STARKVILLE — Aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize Mayor Lynn Spruill to arrange and coordinate the installation of two pay-to-park kiosks in the Cotton District on a trial basis.
The kiosks will likely be placed on opposite ends of the area, which runs from Montgomery Street east to Mississippi State University, where drivers are being asked to pay to park their vehicles for longer than 15 minutes.
The kiosks only accept payment from credit cards and are an alternative for residents and visitors who do not wish to pay for parking using the ParkMobile app or website.
“This is something that is customary and that is done in college towns,” Ward 5 Alderman Hamp Beatty said. “Short of putting meters at every parking space, this is the best way to give people an alternative to using the ParkMobile app.”
Beatty has long been an advocate for the installation of kiosks as an alternative to the app, especially for residents or visitors who may not have smartphones. The kiosks communicate with ParkMobile.
The kiosks are solar powered, feature a large touchscreen and are ADA compliant. Aldermen briefly discussed how long the kiosks should remain downtown on trial and ultimately agreed to place them on the street for three months or throughout the duration of football season, whichever comes first depending on how quickly the kiosks are able to be ordered and installed.
ParkMobile was introduced in Starkville for the first time on March 15, but the service was halted after negative public reception and resistance—largely due to lack of awareness and understanding about the new paid parking system.
Paid parking via parking solution company ParkMobile resumed on June 2 for patrons and visitors in portions of Downtown Starkville. Paid parking was implemented, to encourage more rapid parking space turnover to ensure patrons of businesses in the area have somewhere to park.
Spruill said the city will obtain the two kiosks from Access Control Group at a cost of $6,600 each. Additionally, the city will may a $250 monthly service fee.