By Ron Marasco
Starting this summer in Des Moines, you may not have to dig between your car seats looking for change to pay the parking meter. The city council voted Monday night to install new meters that will let you use your credit card.
The city will change out 240 of their 4,000 parking meters this summer and will phase the rest in over time.
"I think it'll be helpful," said Ann Harmon, owner of From Our Hands in East Village. "It'll be a very convenient thing for people."
"I think they (shoppers) get kind of frustrated with having a deadline and not being able to kind of hang out in the store and shop," said Rory Brown, manager of All Spice Culinary. "They feel like they have to get back to their meter and plug it."
All you'll need is a Visa or Mastercard, and the stall in front of your favorite store is all yours.
"I think anything to help the struggling credit card is good," said a sarcastic Mike Draper, owner of Raygun. "But yea, I think it's good. I mean a lot of people don't have any change and stuff like that, so it'll really hurt our 20% surcharge in giving people quarters," said Draper with a chuckle.
Don't laugh, many store owners actually don't mind making change.
"I don't really see it as an inconvenience or frustration because it brings people into the store," said Brown.
"I do give out a lot of quarters which is kind of a... it's a friendly thing to do," said Harmon. "I don't mind doing it and it actually brings some people in."
"Normally it's just that when they park in front and come in and get change, by the time they're back out to their car, they've already got a ticket, so just that 18 second exchange is all it takes for the parking ladies to get you," said a laughing Draper.
The city's also hoping people will eventually be able to pay for the meters using their cell phones.