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City council discusses raising parking fines

March 05, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown City Council gave general consensus Tuesday to increasing the cost of parking fines, making them more comparable to other jurisdictions.

As part of its efforts to find a way to balance the next fiscal year's budget, which has an estimated $2 million shortfall, city staff compared current parking fines to those charged in other Maryland cities.

The city's parking fines are lower than the Maryland cities of Cumberland, Annapolis, Frederick, Baltimore and Rockville, Winchester, Va., and Washington D.C.,

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The city's fine for parking in a handicapped space is $40. Finance Director Alfred Martin suggested increasing the amount to $75.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said the fine should be even higher.

"You park at a handicap space, you should pay a $100 fine," Metzner said.

The city charges $7 for parking at an expired meter. Martin suggested increasing the fine to $10.

The council debated how the public would react to the increase but Metzner said it won't really matter.

"People who get a ticket for $7 are going to moan as much as one who gets a ticket for $10," Metzner said.

Mayor William M. Breichner said he sympathizes with someone who is shopping downtown and gets delayed and may soon have to pay a fine that is $3 higher.

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