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Irwin parking ticket costs could increase soon

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Irwin Council could increase the cost of parking tickets along Main Street next month.

Council plans to work with its solicitor, Todd Turin, to increase the price of each parking ticket accrued along the street, which features free two-hour parking.

Anyone violating the free parking limit will get a $10 ticket.

After that, the second ticket comes with a $25 fine, and a third offense comes with a $50, according to council President John Cassandro.

“Each day starts a new series of tickets,” Cassandro said.

Turin said before imposing the new fine system, officials must establish how often the parking attendant must wait before issuing additional tickets.

“Right now, there would be an enforceability issue,” Turin said. “Typically, what communities do is mark a time between how often they can issue a ticket.

“If we have to go before a district justice with these tickets, we'd better make sure we have everything dotted and crossed, because they'll want to see no disparity.”

The elevated fines are part of council's plans to crack down on anyone parking more than two hours per day in the borough's free parking places.

The borough's parking ordinance specifies the borough offers free two-hour parking on Main Street.

Some motorists have been parking along Main Street for more than two hours per day, which puts them in violation of the parking regulation, Cassandro said.

Council removed meters in June 2011 in favor of free two-hour parking spots in order to encourage more shopping in the borough's Main Street business district.

It is not uncommon for communities to issue parking tickets each hour, after the first violation, according to Dan Wensel, officer in charge at the Irwin Police Department.

Communities must specify in an ordinance how often parking enforcement may issue tickets after the initial violation, Wensel said.

The borough offers long-term parking passes for $17.50 per month, along with metered spots in the borough's parking lots, manager Mary Benko said.

Councilman Bob Wayman said it's best the borough wait until June to establish the new Main Street parking ticket regulations.

“The concern here is uniformity of enforcement,” Wayman said. “We have to make sure we've established a uniform way to enforce this.”

Council plans to discuss parking ticket rates during its June 6 workshop meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the public works building, located at 1 First St., Irwin.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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