The City of North Batttleford is going to crack down on people who aren’t paying their parking tickets.
Up to now, the unwritten policy had been to record outstanding parking and violation tickets when paid, and then write off unpaid tickets after a year.
That will not be the case anymore. The city intends to step up enforcement of unpaid tickets.
A system to better track parking tickets has been set up. Instead of treating tickets as revenue once payment comes in, it will be treated as revenue from the moment the ticket is issued.
If payment is not received by the end of the year, it will be set up as a receivable and there will be steps taken to collect, according to Mayor Ryan Bater.
“We issue a lot of warnings … the city does have the ability to tow and to impound, and so we will be exercising that because the amount that’s outstanding is getting up to about $300,000 at this point,” said Bater to reporters after the meeting. “We have a responsibility to collect.”
The city plans to issue a news release with more details on what to expect.
Director of Finance Steve Brown provided addition numbers in a memo dated April 8. Since 2006, the balance unpaid up to Dec. 31, 2018 was $285,845. The balance written off to that same period was $267,404. Total tickets were $553,249.
“I’m surprised that it’s taken this long to get here but I’m grateful this information is now available,” said Councillor Len Taylor.
He said he had raised the issue at council two years earlier. At that time, he said, councillors had been assured by city management that the number of tickets outstanding was $35,000 and “it wasn’t a big deal because we could tow vehicles.”
“It doesn’t appear that we’ve towed vehicles,” said Taylor. “It doesn’t appear that we’ve had the correct information provided to us. There’s no point in writing the ticket if there’s no plan to collect the penalty associated with that ticket. We are wasting our time writing tickets if we are not collecting.”
In response, Brown said the city is in fact towing vehicles. “This gives us a better picture to attack the problem,” he said.
North Battleford Community Safety Officer supervisor Ross MacAngus further explained the process for those receiving a ticket. A ticket starts at a reduced rate of $40 for 14 days, but if it goes to summons that ticket goes up to $70, he said. The tow is above that, so “it gets quite costly,” said MacAngus.
Bater explained to reporters that the city issues three warnings to violators.
“People who have parking tickets know they have parking tickets, know they owe those dollars, so it’s not a communication issue, it’s a collection issue, ” he said.