By David Skolnick
If you owe the city money for unpaid parking tickets, you can pay the original $10-per-ticket cost between April 29 and May 4, or the full amount, including $20 late fees, later.
If you decide to ignore those options, you’re not going to like what would happen next, said Clerk of Courts Sarah Brown-Clark.
Once the city’s parking-violations bureau is established in June or July, it will have the power to file civil action against those who don’t pay tickets.
That means the sale of vehicles with multiple unpaid tickets could be blocked as could your driver’s license renewal, and if you’re ticketed in the city again, expect the car to be impounded or locked, Brown-Clark said.
The cost to get that vehicle back will be $500 cash only.
There also could be court orders garnishing the wages of habitual parking-ticket offenders, Brown-Clark said.
People getting parking tickets in the city haven’t responded well to paying the $10 fee, she said.
“It’s reached an intolerable stage,” she said. “We have a large number of unpaid tickets, and until the bureau is established, we don’t have enforcement.”
There are 141 people who owe at least $500 in parking tickets for a total amount of $152,463.
Overall, the city is owed about $300,000 to $350,000 for unpaid tickets, she said. There are at least 1,000 people who have unpaid parking tickets.
The clerk’s office will offer amnesty for six days, April 29 through May 4. The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the first five days and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 4.
And the amnesty is a pretty good deal, she said.
Parking tickets are $10 each if paid within 10 days of receiving a citation. It goes to $20 after 20 days and then to $30 after 30 days.
During the amnesty week, anyone with parking tickets can pay the original $10 without any late fees. That includes those who have unpaid parking tickets from 13 years ago.
So the person who owns a car with the license plate number G5GIRL, who owes $1,860, would pay $620 for 62 unpaid parking tickets.
At the top of the list is the owner of a vehicle with the plate number DZJ 9588, who owes $6,230. During amnesty week, that person would pay $2,077 for more than 2,000 unpaid tickets.
“I’m allowing people to do this because I’m about to put teeth into this,” Brown-Clark said. “Believe me, I’m going to collect this money.”
Those wanting to pay in person can do so on the second floor of city hall, 26 S. Phelps St., by cash, credit card or money order, and it must be paid in full.
“Do not bring your rubber checks,” Brown-Clark said.
To pay online, it’s best to first call the clerk’s office at 330-742-8846, 330-742-8847 or 330-742-8886 and find out how much you owe, she said. Then go to youngstownmuniclerk.com, search online by plate number and pay the amount owed.
City council voted Wednesday to change laws to create the parking bureau and collect fees.
Also, people with at least 10 unpaid parking tickets who get another one once the bureau is established will have their vehicles towed or locked by the city. In addition to paying all of the back tickets, a $500 cash-only fee is assessed to get the car back.
“If you have 10 tickets you haven’t paid, clearly you’re a problem,” she said.