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For the week of February 28 through March 6, 2001

Council adopts new parking fines

Express Staff Writer

Parking fines in the city of Ketchum’s two-hour zones are now on an incremental scale, topping off at $40 tickets for multiple infractions.

The Ketchum City Council on Tuesday of last week unanimously approved the new parking fines after holding three hearings on the topic in which public sentiment was mixed.

Two-hour parking zones are enforced Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. For years, $10 fines have been the norm.

The new fines are on an exponential scale based on the number of infractions attributed to a vehicle inside a year’s time. The first infraction prompts a warning from the police department. Thereafter, a $10 fine is followed by $20 and $40 fines for the second, third and fourth infractions.

For a fifth violation when four or more citations are unpaid inside a 12-month period, and one of the tickets is delinquent by 90 days or more, a vehicle will be towed, costing the owner $90 plus administrative fees and payment of all unpaid parking tickets before the vehicle will be returned.

Over the past two weeks, the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey of its member businesses on the issue. Chamber executive director Carol Waller said there was "no clear-cut way people felt."

She said that of the 79 responses she received, about half favored the new enforcement regulations.

Ketchum police chief Cal Nevland, who has pushed for the new fine structure, said the new fines will help make parking available for downtown-area business customers.

"The whole purpose of two-hour parking is to make parking available to customers of core businesses," he said. "The majority of the people who need to park there all day are parking outside the core, but there are a few who are trying to beat the system and not walk three blocks.

"They’re willing to take the chance with $10 fines. They’ll now have to weigh the possibility of a $40 fine against walking several blocks."

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