Parking fines in Red Deer will be hiked up in July — with one notable exception.
Red Deer city council opted to actually decrease the fines given out for leaving vehicles parked on roadways that are being cleaned or plowed.
Coun. Tanya Handley said she didn’t feel good raising this fine to a proposed $100 from $85. She suggested lowering the amount to $65, instead, since the city hasn’t worked out the kinks in its changing communications policy regarding informing residents of the intent to plow snow or sweep streets in their neighbourhoods.
About 2,900 city residents were fined last winter after the city reduced signage and figured households should either sign up for the municipal call notification system or go online to see when their snow zone was due for plowing.
Some residents complained they didn’t know plowing would be done in their residential area, and felt city communications were lacking.
“Snow and ice season is already stressful for everyone…let’s give a little back,” said Handley, who had her suggestion to lower the fine to $65 accepted by the majority of council.
Councillors opted during the 2018 operating budget deliberations to increase parking fees at meters by 25 per cent to help repay a loan for the Sorenson Station parkade and to boost parking fines by a slightly lower rate.
As of July 1, the cost of leaving a vehicle at an expired meter in Red Deer will go up to a $65 fine, with an early payment option of $30. This compares to the current $55 fine, which drops to $20 if paid within 10 days. A second offence will cost $70.
Among the city’s long list of parking infractions is stopping a vehicle within five metres of a fire hydrant, which will cost $100 instead of $85. Parking in an alley, a no-parking zone or a commercial loading zone, will cost $90 instead of $75, while parking at a taxi stand will cost $70 instead of $60.
Coun. Lawrence Lee tried to dramatically increase the cost of refusing to stop for a peace officer to $500 from a previous fine of $100. But council decided to wait until administration reviews and makes recommendations on the traffic offence section of the bylaw.