York City D.O.T To Sell Foreign Coins
BY KATHLEEN LUCADAMO
| DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU
Monday, July 30th 2007, 4:00 AM
Parking cheats have shoved
500 pounds of foreign coins
into meters this year - slugs city officials
are now trying to hawk.
"We have pretty much every denomination
from every continent," said Anthony Alfano,
deputy chief of meter collections, rattling
off nations from Greece to Ghana. "The
most common [are] the Greek drachmas."
Department of Transportation officials have
been collecting bids on the coins
and plan to accept the best offer tomorrow.
We are not expecting a windfall,
but it's a way of recouping revenue for the
city," Alfano said. In
years past, buyers have paid approximately
$2 to $4 a pound - far short of the estimated
$8,500 the city lost in revenue because of
the foreign impostors, officials said.
The highest bidder must agree
to buy all 500 pounds - 8-1/2 bags of coins
that are being stored in a secret location
for safety reasons.DOT takes in about $90
million in coins from parking
meters annually. It started selling the foreign
coins about a decade ago after deciding it
was impractical to exchange them to U.S. currency.
"In the scheme of things
the money and volume of coins is pretty insignificant,"
It's becoming harder to dupe
the new high-tech meters with foreign
coins, and the annual sale could
become obsolete in the next few years. When
the coins were sold in 2001,
there were 1,402 pounds of foreign slugs -
Office of the state's Chief Financial Officer,
July 26, 2007
Last year, only 728
pounds were sold. "The electronic meters are
more discriminating," Alfano said.
Last year's batch
went to Jim Corliss, a 60-year-old Braintree, Mass.,
collector who bids under his company name, Sir Speedy
Printing. The three-time winner put in a bid again
"Every once in
a while I find something of value," he said.
One time, he stumbled on a 1835 British shilling.
"It sounds exciting, but it was worth $5,"
he said. He confessed to collecting "zillions"
of coins since he started the hobby
as a 12-year-old paperboy sorting through tips. "I
have a big house," he said.