TICKET TO WRITE

Park­ing fines go­ing up across board

Regina Leader-Post - - FRONT PAGE - CRAIG BAIRD cbaird@postmedia.com twit­ter.com/craig­baird

That quick stop down­town will soon end up cost­ing you more if you don’t plug the me­ter. As of July 1, park­ing fines down­town will rise by $10, in­clud­ing the vol­un­tary fine pay­ment that will in­crease from $20 to $30. The over­all park­ing fine for not putting change in the me­ter will in­crease from $55 to $65.

“The $10 in­crease will go across the board,” said Kim On­rait, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of city ser­vices. “If you pay your fine within 14 days, you still get $35 off that fine.”

Park­ing fines in the city have in­creased by 86 per cent since 2003, with fines ris­ing from $35 to $65. The vol­un­tary pay­ment fine has in­creased to a much higher de­gree, ris­ing 500 per cent — from $5 to $30 — in the same time pe­riod.

On­rait stated that the city’s de­ci­sion to in­crease fines is about in­creas­ing com­pli­ance, with fine rev­enue from the in­crease be­ing sec­ondary.

“We want to en­sure that peo­ple are park­ing legally, which en­sures traf­fic flow and pedes­trian safety in the city,” On­rait said. “That is the pur­pose of park­ing en­force­ment.”

Coun­cil made the de­ci­sion to in­crease the fines dur­ing the amended bud­get meet­ing on Tues­day.

Coun. Bob Hawkins, who made the mo­tion to coun­cil, hoped that it would bring more power to the en­force­ment of the city’s park­ing reg­u­la­tion pol­icy.

“The pri­mary rea­son to do this is to give more ‘oompf ’ to our park­ing reg­u­la­tion pol­icy,” Hawkins said. “This will do that. It is in line with what Saska­toon city coun­cil has done with its vol­un­tary pay­ment fines.”

Cur­rently, the city is owed $7 mil­lion on park­ing tick­ets go­ing back to 2006, a fig­ure that was $2 mil­lion in 2011 and $3 mil­lion in 2013. Fines col­lected in 2016 to­talled $2.3 mil­lion.

Not every­one on coun­cil was in favour of the in­crease.

“I don’t find this to be a pos­i­tive move for our city,” Coun. Ja­son Mancinelli said. “We al­ready have col­lec­tion prob­lems on the tick­ets.”

In a recorded vote, the mo­tion passed 7-3, with Mancinelli, Coun. Jerry Flegel and Coun. Lori Bres­ciani vot­ing against it.

There are cur­rently no plans to in­crease the price to park down­town at a park­ing me­ter.

“The last park­ing me­ter re­view, I be­lieve was done two years ago. It re­mains on par with other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties,” On­rait said. “When we do a park­ing me­ter re­view, we will re­view other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.”

For those driv­ers who choose to park il­le­gally and not pay the fine, On­rait says there are tools at the city’s dis­posal to deal with that.

“Even­tu­ally, there will be le­gal ac­tion,” he said. “Ve­hi­cles can have a lien against them. It can be seized and sold. We have a num­ber of tools we can use di­rectly re­lated to pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tion. An­other (op­tion) is to al­low us to use a col­lec­tion agency.”

In 2013, it was re­ported one park­ing scofflaw had $30,000 in park­ing tick­ets against him and On­rait stressed that park­ing tick­ets don’t dis­ap­pear over time.

“Some peo­ple get a park­ing ticket and they think it will go away. It does not go away,” he said.

TROY FLEECE

A City of Regina park­ing en­force­ment of­fi­cer is­sues a ticket on the 1700 block of 13th Av­enue. Fines will in­crease by $10 on July 1.

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