Village board changes parking ticket fees, enforcement, regulations

— New legal regulations, enforcement procedures and increased fines soon will take effect for anyone receiving a parking ticket in the village of Cazenovia.

The village board, at its Feb. 4 meeting, unanimously approved the changes to the village code in an effort to not only clarify the somewhat muddy procedures relating to parking violations, but also as a way to recoup unpaid fines, increase revenue, increase incentives for violators to pay their fines and hopefully improve the current state of parking availability in the village.

The major catalyst for the upcoming changes is the current state of unpaid parking tickets on the village books — currently about 1,600 tickets totaling roughly $64,000, said Cazenovia Village Police Chief Michael Hayes.

“A lot of these have been ignored for years, but we haven’t forgotten,” Hayes said. “We don’t want to boot vehicles and write tickets, but we spend a lot of money on this [parking] issue and we want to stop that. There are better uses for that money in the village budget.”

The updated code, which will become effective March 1, increases most of the enumerated parking violation fines from $20 to $25. It increases the violation for parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant from $25 to $50, and the violation for illegally parking in a handicapped zone from $25 to $75. It also lowers the fine for being double parked from $20 to $10.

The timeline for violators to either contest or pay their fine(s) also has become more stringent. Any fine not addressed by the violator within 10 days from the date of the violation will increase an additional $25. If the violation is not addressed within 30 days, the fine will increase an additional $25 (or a total of $50 above the original fine).

The previous procedure gave violators 30 days before additional fines or other actions, such as attaching an immobilizing “boot” to a vehicle’s tire until the fine is paid, would be taken by the village.

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