City working to collect thousands of dollars from serial parking offenders
Steamboat Springs — The city of Steamboat Springs is working to collect parking fines from individuals who have multiple unpaid tickets, including one man who has racked up 23 parking citations in the city since December and owes $2,800.
Notices are being sent to people who are on what the city calls the scofflaw list.
The people on the list will be given an opportunity to pay the fines, and those who don’t could find a boot on their vehicle or have to retrieve it from an impound lot.
The scofflaw list currently includes 43 vehicle owners who, collectively, have failed to pay 133 parking tickets.
Of the 43 offenders, 29 are local, six are from Colorado and eight are from out-of-state, Police Chief Cory Christensen said.
The total amount of the unpaid fines wasn’t available Thursday, and city staff was still working to calculate a final number.
Most of the people on the list have between two and five tickets.
Individuals who failed to pay parking tickets issued last year will also be sent notices.
Any of those tickets that go unpaid will be sent to collections.
Steamboat’s top parking offender on the scofflaw list has been averaging about one parking ticket per week in the past six months.
The man has received more than 130 parking violations in the past decade, Christensen said, and the man’s past fines have been sent to collections.
The serial offender has committed a mix of parking violations, including illegally parking in areas that are subject to snow removal and overstaying his welcome in parking spaces with two-hour time limits.
The city ordinance allowing the city to tow or immobilize vehicles that belong to individuals on the scofflaw list has existed for many years, and it has been enforced in the past, Christensen said.
He said the individuals on the scofflaw list are disregarding the needs of other citizens and visitors to the downtown area.
“This effort is just a part of the approach to assist in addressing our parking issues in the downtown area,” Christensen said.
In response to the Steamboat Springs City Council’s repeated calls for more parking enforcement, the city this year began to step up its watch over public parking spaces. The result has been significantly more tickets and warnings than last year.
According to records released by Christensen in April, the city handed out 620 parking tickets and 987 warnings through April 5.
That represents a 15.5 percent, or an 83-ticket increase, over the same period last year.
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