PARKERSBURG - It's been little more than a year since the city unveiled its Smart Car for the parking department.
And so far officials are pleased with its performance.
"It has been a big help," Parking supervisor Dan Huffman said.
Photo by Mandi Cardosi
Parkersburg city parking supervisor Dan Huffman stands with the city’s Smart Car.
Smart Cars are small vehicles produced by a division of Daimler, the company which produces Mercedes-Benz. The city acquired a Smart car because of its agility in tight places.
So far, no problems, Mayor Bob Newell said.
"It has worked out very, very well," said Mayor Bob Newell.
The car was received by the city in September 2011. It was purchased for $14,000 from the parking enterprise fund to replace the 20-year-old Cushman.
The Cushman got 17 miles per gallon. It also lacked air conditioning, was difficult to handle in winter weather and could not accommodate two people.
The Smart Car gets more than 30 miles per gallon. In little more than a year the Smart Car has about 5,000 miles on it, Huffman said.
Huffman said the lone drawback is the department has only one car.
"When I have to go out to check on a meter or a complaint or maintenance I have to either wait for the car or walk."
He is recommending another in the future.
"We have two ticket writers. In the rain they could both drive."
Newell said the car is useful to the department and he wouldn't be opposed to purchasing another. But it's unlikely there will be a fleet of city Smart Cars. Newell said the cars have limited use.
"Other than the parking department there is very limited use for them."
Newell said the car might be of some use for code enforcement.
"For bad weather we need to maintain a certain amount of four-wheel drive vehicles," Newell said.