City of Trail plugs money into parking meters

Because of newly loonies and toonies issued by the Royal Canadian Mint, City of Trail will have to spend $15,000 upgrading parking meters.

A national coin-saving measure is costing the city more than a few bucks.

Trail expects to drop up to $15,000 into approximately 700 city parking meters along with upgrading its ticket dispensing units at city parking lots to match newly weighted loonies and toonies introduced this spring by the Royal Canadian Mint.

“The coin chute within the coin mechanism in the meter has to be replaced and the software within the mechanism updated,” explained city administrator Michelle McIsaac. “At the Fortis building, because the dispensing unit there is of an older vintage, we are unsure if the machine will accept the new coins and it may have to be replaced entirely as an upgrade to this unit is not available.”

These Canadian coins received final cabinet approval in late December to no longer be made out of nickel and copper, but to be finished in brass-plated steel, instead.

The lighter coins are said to hold much less financial weight, as the cost of nickel has increased drastically. The Mint also feels that multi-ply plated steel technology, already used in Canada’s smaller coinage, produces an electromagnetic signature that is harder to counterfeit.

Trail waits to get final approval on the exact weight of the new coins prior to making changes.