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Changes Would Provide for Enforcement of Unpaid Tickets

A proposal by the Sanford Police Department to provide an enforcement mechanism for unpaid parking tickets will go to the City Council for a public hearing next month. Currently, the Department can ticket people who park illegally, but if they don’t pay, there are no repercussions. Police Chief Craig Andersen said this is unfair to those who do pay their tickets.

Under the proposal, a parking ticket fine will double if the ticket is not paid within 30 days. After the new ordinance goes into effect, if a second parking ticket goes unpaid for more than 30 days, an officer will respond to the registered owner’s address (if local) with a warning that a third ticket will result in the vehicle being towed.

A vehicle parked on a public way or on City-owned property with three or more prior outstanding tickets might also be towed without warning. An officer MAY allow the owner to avoid the tow by immediately paying the tickets at the Police Department. Patrol officers will not be able to accept payment.

If the vehicle is towed, all fines must be paid before it will be released.

There is a process by which a vehicle owner can contest a parking ticket if a mistake was made or in an emergency situation.

Chief Andersen said the change was being proposed to help residents who live downtown where not all homes have driveways. The ease of notification with texts and emails makes the reliance on emergency bans possible.

The proposed changes will go to the City Council for a public hearing on May 3.

The Police Department is also proposing to eliminate the ban on overnight parking on most of the City’s main streets between December 1 and April 1 each winter. Instead, when streets are clear of snow and there is no storm forecast, parking would be allowed. When a storm is predicted or the Public Works Department has to clear snow from a previous storm, an Emergency Parking Ban would be announced. Councilors are in favor of this change, but want more time to discuss it before next winter. Some streets may continue to have a winter ban.

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