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The first batch of downtown parking meters were mounted along a portion of Main Street on Tuesday.

They went online later in the afternoon, charging 25 cents for 15 minutes of time and taking payments by coin, card and smartphone app. Earlier in the day, Rapid City announced the launch of a web portal where parking ticket fines can be paid online.

Parking tickets are searchable at rapidcity.citationportal.com by citation number, license plate number and vehicle identification number. Payments can be made with Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express cards, the site says.

Fines that go unpaid for longer than 30 days are turned over to meter provider IPS Group for collections. 

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Recent and outstanding parking tickets can be paid off through the portal, the release says. An estimated 12,000 parking tickets are currently unpaid and approximately 700 vehicles are at risk of receiving parking boots. Wheel clamps are placed on vehicles whose owners tally three outstanding tickets or who have amassed more than $125 in fines.

The launch of the portal is the latest step in the city's implementation of an overhauled parking management plan that the Rapid City Council adopted in May. That plan called for the creation of a new parking advisory board and an on-street parking permit program in addition to the installation of downtown parking meters. It also increased some parking fines.

In February, the city entered into a $700,000 agreement with IPS, which is based in San Diego, to have 620 "smart meters" deployed along Main and St. Joseph streets between Fifth and Ninth streets. No meters had been mounted on St. Joseph Street by late Tuesday.

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