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Waynesboro considers raising parking fines

March 28, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Parking tickets in downtown Waynesboro would increase from $2 to $5 for an expired meter if the Waynesboro Borough Council adopts changes to its parking ordinance, Council President Charles "Chip" McCammon said.

Under the existing code, vehicle owners are subject to citations issued through the district justice's office for such violations as parking within 15 feet of a hydrant, in a fire lane, within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection, more than 12 inches from the curb and parking against traffic. Court costs are added to the fines, Borough Police Chief Ray Shultz said.

If the council changes the ordinance, fines for those violations would be a flat $15 and they could be paid by putting a check in the pink ticket envelope, and mailing it or dropping it off at Borough Hall.

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Other changes would raise the current fine from $2 to $10 for parking in areas marked no parking from 2 to 6 a.m. and no parking in areas designated for street sweeping.

The fine for parking in a handicapped space would increase to $25 if the ordinance is changed.

The biggest fine, $50, would be levied against vehicle owners who park on the street where snow emergencies have been declared.

The new ordinance would give motorists 72 hours to pay the new $5 ticket. The fine would double after 72 hours. If not paid within 10 days, a traffic citation would be issued through the district justice's office, with court costs added to the fine, Shultz said.

John Long, owner of Long Jewelers Inc. at 26 W. Main St., sees no problem raising the fines in Waynesboro, but he said he would like police to patrol the meters on a regular basis.

"They come by one day and don't come the next," he said.

Long also said some meters in front of his store don't work. His customers put money in, but the meters don't register it, he said.

"It's a good thing," Sam Long, owner of Total Vac at 38 W. Main St., said of the proposed fine increase. "Maybe it will keep the apartment dwellers and business owners from parking on the street all day. It might deter some of that."

McCammon said Waynesboro's parking fines were compared with those of other area municipalities.

"Waynesboro hasn't raised its fines in years," McCammon said. "We're trying to bring the borough in line with other municipalities. If people just put a nickel in the meter, they won't have a problem. Parking in Waynesboro is still a bargain."

In Greencastle, Pa., a fine is $3 for an expired meter if paid within 48 hours. After that, it increases to $10. A citation is issued after 15 days, Borough Manager Kenneth Myers said.

Steve Mellott, borough secretary in Mercersburg, Pa., said the fine for an expired meter there is $2. After 48 hours, it's $5. If the ticket is not paid within 10 days, a citation is issued, he said.

Hamberger said meters bring in about $13,000 per year. Fines for parking tickets net another $6,500, he said.

"We don't look at parking meters to generate revenue," Hamberger said. "The idea behind parking meters is to create turnover downtown so a vehicle won't be parked in front of a store all day."

Parking meters in Greencastle bring in about $25,000 per year, Myers said. The borough makes another $7,000 from parking ticket fines, he said.

Mellott said meters in Mercersburg bring in $2,800, while parking ticket fines net the borough about $10,500.

The money from meters and fines goes into the general funds of all three boroughs, officials said.

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