New city ordinances take effect

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 1/3/01.

Two new city ordinances took effect on the first of the year.

Parking fines will more than double. The city did have a $5 parking fine on the books, but the city council raised the fees when Police Chief Tony Schmitt said this fine didn't have enough teeth. Some people were accepting the fine rather than moving their vehicles, Schmitt told the council in December, when they approved both ordinance changes.

Vehicles should not be parked on city streets from 2 to 6 a.m. from Nov. 1 to March 31. This allows the streets to be plowed without obstructions.

As of Monday, people leaving their vehicles on the city streets overnight will be fined $10 for the first two times of the year and $25 for the third and subsequent offenses.

Besides the fine, cars will be towed from the street, and owners will have to pay the cost of towing and storage.

The police department alternates its towing between J&M Auto and Yarmon Ford and Mercury. J&M charges $45 for towing and and $15 for over 24 hours of storage. Yarmon charges $25 for towing and $12 per day for storage.

"We haven't had to tow many cars," Schmitt said. "People are learning to keep their cars off the streets during the winter months."

The police department notifies the county dispatcher when a vehicle is towed. When a vehicle owner calls, the dispatcher can inform them where their vehicle can be found.

False alarm charges
In the new year, both the city of Paynesville and Paynesville Township will charge for false burglar alarms.

There will be no charge for the first and second calls each year. For the third call, the property owner will be charged $50. For the fourth and subsequent calls, $100 will be charged.

The slate will be wiped clean at the end of each calendar year.

In 2000, the local police department responded to at least 86 false alarms. Police officers made repeated trips to several properties to answer false alarms.

Schmitt has prepared a letter explaining the policy to give to the property owner or key holder when police respond to a false alarm.

The city council approved both changes in December. The township's board of supervisors approved the policy last week.

The Paynesville Fire Department already charges $100 for false fire alarms in the city.

Fire chief Jim Freilinger said they have had very few false alarms. The first two false alarm responses are free and the third and subsequent responses cost $100. "It used to be a lot worse prior to our installing the billing procedure more than four years ago," Freilinger said.

The fire department does not charge property owners for fire calls. The fees are left up to the individual townships who have contracts with the department.

New city ordinances:
Parking tickets:
First and second tickets: $10.
Third and subsequent tickets: $25.

False burglar alarms:
First and second false alarms per year: no charge.
Third false alarm: $50.
Fourth and subsequent false alarms: $100.
Return to Archives