DANVILLE – To further discourage people from parking in spots they’re not supposed to downtown, the city council’s Public Works Committee tonight will look at increasing parking ticket fees.
The ordinance amendment pertaining to parking rules would increase a parking violation ticket fee from: $5 to $10 if paid within three days of issuance of the ticket; $10 to $25 if paid after the three days but before 10 days; $25 to $35 if paid after 10 days but before 30 days; $10 to $25 for a subsequent ticket issued on same violation day if paid within three days and $25 to $35 if paid after three days but before 30 days.
Cindy Parson, superintendent of recreation and park maintenance with the city and who also is downtown parking monitor, said the increased fees are following downtown parking changes that occurred.
After a few years of not being enforced, city employees began monitoring downtown's two-hour free parking limits starting in May 2019.
Many more parking spaces in some downtown parking lots, including the entire D lot across from Rich’s Deluxe restaurant, also are now leased, paid spots that are not open to the public.
“(The parking violation fees) have not been changed in at least 10 years,” Parson said.
She said overall parking isn’t a problem downtown. The main lot they have problems with is the D lot at North and Walnut streets.
“Every single space in that lot is reserved. They pay a monthly fee to reserve those,” Parson said. “It is our obligation to check on those daily.”
She said most of the time people are not aware of the paid permit parking only.
“There’s plenty of street parking,” Parson said about other available parking.
In other business tonight, the committee will consider a budget amendment in the Office of Grant and Planning Management.
Danville Senior Planner Tyson Terhune was terminated, and city officials say a Planner I position would be more beneficial at this time.
The salary for a Planner I position will be funded by reallocation of funds from the vacant senior planner position. The annual salary for Planner I will be $52,000.
Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said due to it being a personnel issue, he couldn’t comment on Terhune no longer working for the city.
In other business, committee members also are expected to hear from Danville Public Works Director Carl Carpenter about this year’s mowing of empty lots that are owned by the city, Vermilion County Trust and private entities. Discussions are including having city staff mow the lots.
According to a memo from Carpenter, “It should also be kept in mind that the employees used for such mowing would also be utilized for board-ups and illegal dumping collections. We currently have equipment that would allow us to mow the lots. The cost of operating said equipment is based on numbers from associated costs of rental for such equipment.”
Numbers for aldermen discussion: two crews of two employees at $22.50 per hour for each crew totaling $45 per hour; $45 per hour at 40 hours per week totaling $1,800; $1,800 per week at 30 weeks totaling $54,000.
Also equipment needed for mowing: two pickups/two trailers/two zero-turn mowers/two push mowers/two weed eaters. Associated costs per hour: $39 per hour at 40 per week totals $1,560; $1,560 at 30 weeks totals $46,800; total estimated amount for city to mow empty lots: $100,800.
The current budget is set at $90,000 for maintenance of lots.
Carpenter asks that a determination be made soon so Public Works can plan accordingly – whether that is having Public Works mow the lots or the city contracts out the mowing of lots again this year.