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Skaneateles contemplating wheel lock device

Carlson likened the wheel lock to the village's backup generator -- you hope you never have to use it, but are glad to have it when it's needed.

However, the committee isn't recommending the village skip all other steps before jumping on the wheel lock train. They recommend starting out with an amnesty period in which those who have received parking tickets will also receive a notification that their fine is due or past due.

"In order to make this work, we need to have better linkage between all departments," Carlson said.

Those departments include the village office, the police department, the courts and dispatch, she said. The committee has begun investigating a database to help them keep better track of parking tickets, who has received them, how many and if they've paid or not.

According to Carlson, at the end of the amnesty period, if the violator hasn't paid within 30 days the system would generate a letter giving an additional 30 days. If after the extension the fine still is not paid, they receive a violation notice and the fine is doubled.

The end result would be use of the wheel lock or the vehicle will be impounded.

Carlson said the committee has been assured that the database will be automatic and need little human interaction.

"The goal right now is to make it less labor intensive," Perkins said about the system under discussion.

The company that would be designing the database is the same company that created a system for Solvay. According to Carlson, Solvay's database in an intranet that is not Web based, whereas the parking committee is looking into a Web-based program. It has been indicated the program would be a month-to-month payment of around $250 with no up front cost.

No matter what the board decides, there needs to be a remedy to the communication issue between departments. There are currently 42 printed pages of people who have three or more tickets.

"The backlog we see here is nobody's fault," Perkins said. "There's no teeth in the [current] law."

All paid parking areas would be subject to any new regulations. The board did not vote to have Attorney Michael Byrne begin writing a local law to implement the system, however the trustees agreed that the cost of a wheel lock device is reasonable.

"For $500 we can bring fairness to the process," Lynn said.

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