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Cellphones can soon feed Port Jeff parking meters

An array of shops lines Main Street in

An array of shops lines Main Street in Port Jefferson. (Nov. 11, 2011) Credit: Carl Corry

Drivers in Port Jefferson soon will be able to pay their parking meters by cellphone.

The Port Jefferson Village Board voted Monday night to hire Metric Group of Mount Laurel, N.J., to install 22 new meters in the village, as well as provide new software for every existing village meter to accept payment by phone or handheld device.

The cost will be about $157,000 for the new meters, $2,500 for the software, and $8,800 for bases for the meters, said Mayor Margot Garant.

“The point of updating is that the hardware as it exists is five years old now,” she said of the existing village meters.

Drivers wanting to pay the meter fee by credit card have complained about how long the transactions took, Garant said.

“These will do the transactions in six to 20 seconds,” she said.

The software to pay by phone will be rolled out within the next month, while the new meters will be delivered in 12 weeks, she said.

The village will also upgrade some meters to accept dollar bills, in locations away from the harbor to prevent moisture damaging the bills, she said.

Village trustee Lee Rosner was out of town and did not vote, but the rest of the board unanimously approved the meter contract.

Photo: An array of shops lines Main Street in Port Jefferson. (Nov. 11, 2011)

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