For years, savvy motorists parking in downtown Scranton knew a secret: Parking enforcement officers weren't on the beat before 8:30 a.m. or after 4:30 p.m.
The Times-Tribune of Scranton reported Thursday that it's now nearly impossible to calculate how much money the city lost in parking meter fees and fines for overtime parking as a result.
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The city's March 1987 ordinance said downtown parkers had to keep the meters running between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or face fines.
But the Scranton Parking Authority's officers worked a set eight-hour day, leaving the meters unpatrolled for two of those 10 hours each day.
Republic Parking of Chattanooga, Tenn., which began managing the city's meters July 1, has since implemented staggered shifts to achieve the full, 10-hour enforcement.