County eyes electronic parking at Hayden airport |

County eyes electronic parking at Hayden airport

Dana Strongin

Yampa Valley Regional Airport’s parking system may go electronic.

The Routt County Board of Commissioners today will review an agreement that would bring an electronic ticketing system to the airport.

If approved, the agreement would lead to the installation of an electronic arm gate at the parking lot entrance. Motorists would take a ticket at the gate. When they return from their trips, travelers would be able to pay the ticket inside the airport with cash or a credit card, or else pay by credit card at the exit, said Interim Airport Manager Anne Copeland.

Now, parking at the airport is free because of construction eff–orts, Copeland said. Routt County began a $13.6 million airport im—-provement project, which included paving and expanding the parking area, in the summer. Asphalting is set to begin in about a week.

If the electronic parking system, which is estimated to cost $240,000, is approved, officials hope to have it ready for use by mid-November. County officials said there might be an increase in parking fees, but any change in the fee has yet to be determined.

The city will be charged a fee for every credit card transaction that takes place. The county asked three banks for quotes on the fees, and Wells Fargo was the lowest bidder.

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Before construction began, drivers who used the parking lot put cash or a check into an envelope and inserted the envelope into a locked box at the lot. The new system will be easier to use, Copeland said.

“It’s definitely much more customer friendly,” she said. “People will be able to pay with a credit card or cash.”

The new system would make getting refunds easier. Previously, travelers whose trips were cut short or canceled would have to wait on the county, said Tom Heilner, the county’s accounting manager.

“It took some time to process refunds,” Heilner said.

Also, Heilner said, county officials would be able to count on getting money from everyone who parks in the lot.

“Because we were on an honor system previously, we were probably not getting 100 percent” of the parking fees, he said.

Routt County commissioners are scheduled to review the parking agreement at 9:55 a.m. today.