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Parking discussion brings up questions about parking ticket

February 16, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WILLIAMSPORT - A discussion about parking prompted resident James T. Jewell to complain about a parking ticket he recently received.

Jewell said he parked his truck in front of the Town Hall. At about 7:35 a.m., Larry Lewis, the town's meter reader, wrote Jewell a $5 ticket for being illegally parked.

The sign next to the parking space by the front door of Town Hall says people can park there for 10 minutes while conducting town business.

Jewell argued that the 10-minute rule shouldn't apply if Town Hall is closed, as it was at 7:35 a.m.

He criticized the town for changing the sign without giving anyone notice, including Councilman Monty R. Jones, who is in charge of the streets and alleys committee. Jones said he didn't know about the change.

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Previously, the sign was reserved for people conducting town business, but that was only in effect from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., when Town Hall is open, Clerk/Treasurer Bonnie J. Errico said Tuesday.

Errico acknowledged during Monday's meeting that the sign was changed, but she said people should read the sign before they park there.

A main reason for the change is that people stop at Town Hall in the evening to drop off utility bills at a drop slot, Errico said.

Therefore, people could be conducting town business 24 hours a day, she said.

Town residents used to be able to pay their utility bills after hours at a drop slot at the nearby M&T Bank branch, but the town and the bank have ended that arrangement.

Jewell questioned why Lewis wrote him a ticket before his shift started at 8 a.m.

Errico said Lewis had arrived early at work that day. When he asked his supervisor whether to write the ticket, he was told he should, Errico said.

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