Parking garage beefs up security

The Williamsport Parking Authority thinks it’s important enough to bolster security at its Third Street parking garage as the facility nears a stage when it will be a fully automated parking deck.

The security is to watch over cars that park at the 500-space deck near the corner of Pine Street next to the M&T Bank building. Starting Feb. 1, patrons might notice the extra patrols during evening and overnight hours, mostly likely from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to William E. Nichols Jr., director of city finance.

Nichols brought up the request for security, that will cost no more than $5,000, until the automated system and equipment is ordered and installed, and the authority voted in favor of releasing the funds.

The stepped-up security will be in place until sometime in April, according to authority Chairman Dr. Anthony J. Cipolla.

That’s when the equipment that can accept debit and credit cards and monthly parking passes should be installed and working at the pay stations.

“The facility will operate similar to the 350-space garage on Church Street,” Nichols said.

Customer rates won’t change. They remain $3 for the first hour, $1 for each subsequent hour and a cap of $10, with monthly spaces at $60.

During the discussion, authority member Marc Schefsky said he believed video surveillance is a lot more successful than manpower in providing security at parking garages.

“We have some security on Friday and Saturday nights and some video surveillance,” Nichols said.