If you live or work in Gloversville and have an outstanding parking ticket, the city may soon come a-knocking.
City officials will be seeking ways to increase collection rates on parking tickets after a state audit found their current rate of collection to be lacking.
Gloversville Chief of Police Marc D. Porter said at an Aug. 23 council meeting that a recent audit by the NYS Comptroller’s Office found the city only collected 61 percent of parking ticket revenue owed between 2011-2016.
The agency, said Porter, recommended the city work towards an 85 percent collection rate.
Porter said the police department will be reaching out to other area cities like Johnstown and Amsterdam to see what their collection practices look like.
Strategies being discussed include a 90-day amnesty period during which the city would waive any late penalties on outstanding parking tickets, or buying “boots,” mechanical devices that lock onto a car’s wheel to render the vehicles of chronic violators inoperable until they pay their fines.
Porter said a third option would be to introduce a program that would suspend the drivers license of egregious parking offenders.
“There’s some things in the works,” said Porter, “I’m going to be working on this and will report back to the council.”
Gloversville Commissioner of Finance Bruce Van Genderen said the amount of money being lost at the 61 percent collection rate isn’t all that significant. If the city had been collecting 85 percent of parking ticket revenue owed over the last five years, he said, that amount would only add about $18,000 to city coffers.
“If we were to collect it with the delinquencies it would be a little bit more, but we’re not going to collect the $120 that would be due after so many days. It’s not going to happen,” said Van Genderen. “The idea with the amnesty would be to get people to come in and pay the thing so at least we get something.”
Van Genderen said the city must act by the end of the year.
“We have to give [the comptroller’s office] a general response by Sept. 16, and then within 90 days thereafter we have to have a plan of action in place,” said Van Genderen.
Porter added that some of the solutions being discussed may require changes to the city code and/or legislative action by the city council.
But there is a silver lining to the comptroller’s recommendation, according to Gloversville Mayor Dayton King.
“We kid about it, but I think we’re doing a pretty good job citywide if this is what the state is coming up with that we need to improve,” he said.
Reach Gazette reporter Dan Fitzsimmons at 852-9605, [email protected] or @DanFitzsimmons on Twitter.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette: