City council passes overtime parking fee increase

(Gillette, Wyo.) The city council Tuesday passed an ordinance to increase overtime parking fines from $2 to $7, which was a compromise between the city’s original $15 proposal and input from local merchants.

John Daly, who owns a law office downtown as well as some other properties, spoke at the meeting against the ordinance.

He pointed out that the two-hour limit exceeds the length of time some customers visit downtown businesses, such as banks and law offices.

“There’s an impact on those businesses,” he said.

-- Advertisement – Story Continues Below --

Daly noted businesses such as Wal-Mart who offer plenty of free parking.

Mayor Louise Carter-King said the city had considered the option of suspending all parking patrols, but input from merchants in previous weeks had suggested the idea wasn’t well supported.

-- Advertisement – Story Continues Below --

She said the current $2 overtime parking fine doesn’t cover the cost of parking patrols.

Councilor Dan Barks said there were many large businesses and government offices downtown with lots of employees. Without parking enforcement, he said, there would be no place for any customers to park.

-- Advertisement – Story Continues Below --

The council also discussed the reasoning on not implementing a progressive fine for repeat offenders.

Councilor Kevin McGrath said input from the chief of police suggested administrative costs for such an approach would exceed revenues collected.

“Right now, I couldn’t support the progressive fine after the information I received,” McGrath said.

The ordinance passed unanimously.

Originally from New Mexico, Killough began his career writing freelance for a weekly magazine in Albuquerque while completing his undergraduate degree. In addition to reporting on uranium mining in western New Mexico, he spent three years reporting in western North Dakota during the height of the oil boom. He can be reached at kevin@county17.com or 701-641-6603.