Northwest Portland, get ready to pay for parking.

The Portland City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a deal to spend up to $11.9 million buying as many as 1,000 new parking meters – with about 350 immediately targeted for Northwest 21st and 23rd avenues and the surrounding streets.

Commissioners voted 4-0, with Mayor Charlie Hales absent at a United States Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C., to buy more Cale-brand parking meters.

Portland has been buying Cale meters since 2004. But in 2011, FBI officials raided the city office and home of Portland’s parking manager, Ellis K. McCoy, in conjunction with a sweep at the offices of Cale’s United States distributor in Florida.

McCoy in 2012 pleaded guilty to accepting bribes or kickbacks from two unnamed meter executives. McCoy is scheduled for sentencing May 27.

Portland planned to keep buying meters under its contract. But after a report in The Oregonian/OregonLive, Commissioner Steve Novick ended the contract and launched a competitive solicitation process.

At the time, city officials maintained that they had been getting a “good deal” by paying $7,650 per machine.

Cale officials from the Sweden-based company cut ties with its United States distributor – which had the original contract with Portland – and formed a new company, Cale America, with the same employees.

Now, after a competitive solicitation process, the city will get a far better deal for Cale machines: $4,995 each, according to officials.

“We’re spending less for the meters,” Novick said Wednesday.

Full details of the city’s deal have not been released because negotiations are not final, said Jen Clodius, a city spokeswoman. As is standard, the City Council approved a three-page “price agreement,” but the legislation did not include the actual contract. The agreement also includes monthly software costs.

City officials hope to begin installing meters in March.

“It is interesting that you settled on Cale as the favored option,” Commissioner Amanda Fritz said. “I trust that you’ve done your due diligence.”

— Brad Schmidt

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503-294-7628

@cityhallwatch

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