APPLETON - Two new parking pay stations in Appleton are causing some confusion. The city installed them behind Houdini Plaza three months ago.
Several downtown businesses say customers are frustrated by the machines. But those who use the meters say they like the convenience.
You can still drop change into the two new parking pay stations in Appleton. But doing so requires a few more steps than many are used to. And that has some downtown businesses concerned about frustrated customers.
"I see a lot of cars pulling up, slowing down, parking and then leaving because they don't know what it is or where they are supposed to go," said Shelley Nystrom, owner of Eco Candle Company.
The four step process is pretty simple. Enter your parking stall number, select how long you plan to park, pay with bills or change and take your receipt.
"I just like them because I don't always have change, that's why I like them the most," said Cathy Novin of Kimberly.
Though city officials admit they need to do a better job educating users on how the machines work.
"There is still some confusion with people not used to the stations, but if you think of them just like a meter you still pay ahead of time," said Appleton Public Works Director Paula Vandehey.
The city has about 1,000 of the older parking meters downtown. J.C. Paustian owns Just Act Natural. He has one at the checkout inside his store. He doesn't expect the old meters to be around much longer.
"The people who understand them and say oh yeah we have no problem with them, say oh yeah we were in Chicago and we saw these down there. If Appleton wants to become that bigger city I think that's a step in the right direction," said J.C. Paustian, owner of Just Act Natural.
Vandehey says the city plans to test the two machines through next year. She says the city has plans to replace more of the parking meters with pay stations in the future and she says the next likely place for that to happen is at the library.
The city also plans to test credit cards at the city's midtown ramp next year. Vandehey says if that goes well the feature could be added at other city ramps and pay stations as well.
An early morning fire in downtown Ripon damaged three businesses and displaced 26 people.
A 42-year-old Shawano County man was arrested after a drug bust uncovered bath salts and marijuana.
A woman who worked at an assisted living facilitywas sentenced to 30 days in jail for taking nude photos of residents.
Gov. Scott Walker says a historic tax credit bill he has signed into law will help revitalize downtowns across Wisconsin.
The Sartori Co. announced Wednesday it will spend $14 million to renovate two plants, adding jobs in the process.
A 38-year-old man is behind bars after allegedly peeping into windows in a Kaukauna neighborhood.