Truckee tickets and fees likely to rise
The price of a parking ticket in Truckee soon may force motorists to dig deeper, as the town considers raising fees to cover costs on services from parking fines to planning and building permits.
Areas examined in a recent cost-of-service study included the town’s planning, building and engineering divisions, animal control and parking enforcement. Staff reviewed the study and made recommendations on where prices should go up, and where they shouldn’t. The proposed new fee schedule will go before town council on May 17.
Parking fines would be grouped into four levels: $30, $60, $150 or $300, ranging from parking meter violations to parking illegally in a handicapped spot, said Kelly Beede, the town’s parking services manager.
Beede said the $30 fine would be more in line with similar communities for paid-parking violations, since the current $25 penalty hasn’t changed since 1993.
Additionally, $5 of each ticket must go to Nevada County, she said.
While parking fines may go up if the council approves staff recommendations, Beede said her department is continuing to inform the public about parking policy, especially in the downtown paid-parking area.
“We would rather see a person pay at the meter than get a ticket. We make an effort to see who is parking, who is going for change, and who is paying,” Beede said.
Those who fail to pay at the meter and receive a ticket have a 21-day period to appeal the fine, with appeal forms available at town hall, the Chamber of Commerce and online at http://www.townoftruckee.com, she said.
Further efforts to educate both locals and visitors about paid parking in town may include signs above each meter, decals on each meter or painted curbs, she said.
“The warning period ended in July of ’06, but we are still issuing some warnings depending on the situation,” Beede said. “Typically if a sign has been removed, covered by tree branches, or if an employee permit expires, we will still issue a warning.”
The town’s planning and building divisions charge both fees and hourly rates for planning, building review and inspections of new development.
Executive Director Pat Davison of the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe said a major goal of the new fees is to make the building division financially self-sufficient.
“The number-one goal is to see the building division back on an even keel,” Davison said.
John McLaughlin, the town’s community development director, said previously that the building department has been recovering just 25 percent of its costs, and has been forced to dip into reserve funds in recent months.
According to the study, planning applications fees would go up between $46 and $5,369, with hourly rates rising from $80 to $120.
Building fees would increase by $394 to $1,319, depending on the size and type of project, according to staff reports.
Staff did not recommend any increases for the town’s Animal Control Division.
“We don’t want to create more problems by raising fees,” said Animal Control Manager Dan Olsen. “If fees increase, people may consider other choices instead of turning an animal in.”
Because increased fees could make people less likely to turn animals in or pick them up from boarding, Olsen said the division won’t likely ever be 100 percent fee-supported.
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Jaime Alessio took this video of a bobcat wandering around Kings Beach in broad daylight.