INDIANA: Borough council agrees to add two part-time parking officers
December 05, 2013 10:59 AM
by SAM KUSIC

Indiana Borough intends to put more parking enforcement officers on the streets in 2014.

The budget that council adopted on Tuesday provides for two officers who will work part time.

Bill Sutton, police chief and borough manager, said the extra hands will give the borough’s parking division some added flexibility and help provide better enforcement of parking rules, especially in outlying permit-parking-only areas.

Many of the complaints the division has received relate to vehicles parked illegally in permit-only areas, and it needs to keep better tabs on those places, Sutton said.

The parking division had five officers but was reduced to four when the officers went to full-time status in 2011, Sutton said. And of those, one officer currently is on extended medical leave.

Aside from enforcing parking laws, the officers man the parking office window at the Water Street parking garage and collect change from meters.

“We’re not getting the coverage that we should be,” Sutton said.

In bringing two new officers aboard, the borough expects to see its parking fine revenue increase by $46,930 to $242,430 next year, an increase of about 24 percent.

The parking division is self-supporting, and its revenue and expenses are not part of the borough’s general operating fund. Overall, it expects to see the division’s revenues surpass $1 million in 2014, largely on account of the additional fine revenue.

According to the budget, the borough is paying for the extra help with the additional fine revenue it expects to generate.

Sutton said the point of diligent parking enforcement is not to make money for the borough, but to ensure that parking is the best that it can be.

Still, some of the money generated by parking meters, permit fees and fines is used to help fund the borough’s operations. In 2014, the parking division expects to transfer $170,000 to the general fund, up $4,000 from this year.

The transfer amounts to about 3 percent of the borough’s projected general fund revenue.

But the parking division may be able to share more than that later next year.

Sutton is planning on proposing a slate of revisions to the borough’s schedule of fees, which would include the parking meter charges and permit fees.

He said the schedule is sorely in need of an update, and if all goes according to plan, he hopes to have a proposal for council to act on in March.

Sutton said that although he expects the changes to take effect next year, increases are not factored into the 2014 budget.

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