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New parking meters in Midland drive motorists to frustration

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Midland, Ont. -

New meters in Midland are driving motorists trying to pay for parking in the town to frustration.

Since the new meters were installed in August, the town says 38,000 transactions have been made, along with about 500 complaints.

Most of the concerns are how complex the machines are to navigate, how difficult the screen is to read when the sun hits it, and how small the font is on the screen.

The Business Improvement Association (BIA) says many people have taken to social media to say they won't shop downtown because of the new meters.

"For us, it's frustrating because we're down here trying to work and provide for our friends and families. When you hear something like that, it gets a little disheartening," said BIA president Scott Campbell.

Town councillor Bill Gordon said he plans to ask the town to halt the use of the machines at Wednesday's meeting.

"Looking for the support to pause this implementation through the winter until we can, you know, rethink this and get it right," Gordon said.

Midland's mayor disagrees with putting the brakes on the meters.

Stewart Strathearn says the town is working with the vendor on some improvements. "It's one of the few ways - other than the levy and rates - the town has for raising money."

Strathearn said removing the meters could increase property taxes by about three percent to make up for the financial loss.

Meanwhile, the town set up a machine at town hall for those who need a lesson on how to use the new parking meter system.

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