Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hailey gets tough on parking violations

Mayor offers $1,000 reward for information on planting-strip drivers

Express Staff Writer

Hailey Mayor Fritz Haemmerle has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the identification of drivers who have rutted a newly installed planting strip on Woodside Boulevard.

The move marks a new determination by city leaders to keep automobiles within restricted zones on the newly remodeled road.

Danny Mills appeared in City Council chambers Monday to protest being towed from Woodside Boulevard after parking on a planting strip, saying the tow-truck had damaged his car.

“What was going through your mind when you parked on the planting strip?” Haemmerle demanded of Mills, with a note of anger in his voice.

“I was thinking I didn’t want to be in the way. I had had a few drinks and thought parking on the dirt was out of the way,” Mills said.

Mills said his car was ticketed with a 48-hour notice to have it removed the following day, but that it was “unjustly” towed within two hours. He said he wants compensation from the city for damage to the car incurred during towing.

“My car is near and dear to my heart, and the only thing I have to my name. Now I am out $200 and it is damaged,” Mills said.

Councilman Pat Cooley, who is a Woodside Boulevard resident, said he spotted the car in the morning and called it in.

At the meeting Monday, the City Council passed an amendment to the municipal code that outlines stricter fines for parking violations. The amended ordinance prohibits parking on planting strips in the city, the sections of property between curbs and sidewalks, and the ends of city rights of way.

The change also prohibits parking on Woodside Boulevard for more than 12 hours and establishes new parking-ticket procedures.

Tickets for illegal parking range from $20 for temporary space violations to $35 for winter-restricted spaces. If the parking tickets are not paid within 21 days, the city will assess an automatic “infraction penalty” of $46.50.

“I believe this system will ensure due process,” wrote City Attorney Ned Williamson in a memo to the City Council.

In other Hailey news:

The City Council agreed to designate four 15-minute parking spaces on Bullion and Croy streets, near Main Street. The spaces are not dedicated to any specific businesses.

Tony Evans:

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