WATERVILLE — City councilors on Tuesday took a final vote to accept a $10,000 gift from Colby College to help with parking enforcement; they also took a final vote to increase parking fine amounts.

The vote on each item was 7-0. Colby offered the $10,000 for parking enforcement after businessman Ken Vlodek, at a parking study committee meeting last month, expressed frustration that students living in the new mixed-use residential complex downtown park in front of his business, Yardgoods Center, taking spots away from customers of his and others’ businesses.

Two votes were required to finalize acceptance of the $10,000 Colby gift. The council took the first vote Feb. 5 to accept the funds.

The council on Tuesday voted to increase fine amounts for overtime, winter and parking in an intersection from $10 to $25 and the fee for parking illegally in a handicapped parking space from $50 to $200. They took a first vote to do so on Feb. 5.

The council voted on an amendment Tuesday that says if a person does not pay a $25 fine within 21 days the fine doubles to $50.

Colby is investing millions of dollars downtown, and the city is planning for traffic changes and improvements. When construction and traffic changes are completed, officials plan to develop a downtown parking management plan. Colby also has offered to fund a study to redesign The Concourse, a large parking area downtown. Colby’s $10,000 will help alleviate parking problems in the short-term, according to officials. Police Chief Joseph Massey recommended at the parking study committee meeting last month that the city increase parking fine fees.

He said the $10,000 gift will allow the police department to hire a person to ticket vehicles, an activity his department has not been able to do frequently because officers are so busy working on more pressing matters and ticketing vehicles is not an efficient use of police department resources.

Massey took a survey of several police departments’ parking fines and found Waterville’s are lower than most.

 

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]
Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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