Drivers will pay the price for not paying parking fines - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Drivers will pay the price for not paying parking fines

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Almost everyone's guilty of the parking crime -- forgetting to plug in a few coins, or letting time expire. And even those who do get a ticket don't always remember to pay.

"A parking meter violation is $5, but if you don't pay it in the first 30 days it goes up to $10," said City Clerk Suzy Schares.

Rufus Jenkins is one of the many drivers who forgot to pay his outstanding ticket.

"They kept sending me fines, so I knew I had to pay it," he said.

Jenkins eventually paid attention to a few letters from the city and paid his outstanding fine. But not everyone takes notice of the friendly reminder.

"There is approximately $130,000 in outstanding parking violations. Most of which are parking meter violations," said Schares.

Since the city doesn't have much muscle, it's hard to convince someone to pay. Right now, folks don't have a whole lot of incentive to pay their outstanding parking tickets, other than doing the right thing. But that's about to change.

"We will be working with the county to again put holds on license registrations," said Schares.

Its a policy the city used up until a few years ago. State lawmakers put a stop to it, and then they had a change of heart. So when the city gets the plan in black place -- which should happen within two months -- many Waterloo drivers will learn the hard way to pay their fine or pay the price.

"I'm hopeful it will clean up a lot of them, and those that it doesn't we'll turn over to a collection agency," said Schares.

The money collected from parking fines goes into the general fund. The city clerk said Waterloo could definitely use the $130,000 its owed. She said most people only need to pay ten or twenty bucks, but some repeat offenders are sitting on hundreds of dollars in fines.

We called other Eastern Iowa metro areas. In Dubuque, offenders will receive a reminder about two weeks after the ticket. If an offender is continually not paying, his or her car will be towed and impounded.

Iowa City sends bills through the city system and, if they feel the need, can send the offender to collections.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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