Council to look at raising parking fine


The Seymour City Council is ready to take action to keep people from parking too long in front of downtown buildings.

The retail development committee has directed city attorney Chris Engleking to draft an amendment to city code increasing the fine for two-hour parking violations from $3 to $10.

Currently, if paid after the day the ticket is issued, the fee is $5. Subsequent violations on the same day also are $5.

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There is a clause allowing a business owner to sign off on an issued parking ticket if the customer was at the business for more than two hours. The owner can then turn the ticket in at the police station to be voided.

The council will have a first vote on the fine increase at the Aug. 10 meeting. Any change to an ordinance requires two votes.

Councilman Matt Wheeler, a member of the retail development committee, made the recommendation during Monday night’s council meeting. Also on the committee are councilmen Chad Hubbard and Bret Cunningham.

Hubbard did not attend Monday’s meeting due to being on vacation.

The directive comes after the committee conducted a community forum about the issue July 15. That meeting was attended by around 20 people.

Besides increasing the fees, Wheeler said the city plans to continue to work with Seymour Main Street and the Seymour Chamber of Commerce to bring more public awareness to where downtown city parking lots are located.

There are eight public lots that provide more than 400 free parking spots 24/7. Those lots are located:

Behind the post office

Next to the John Mellencamp mural

Near the Seymour Police Department

At the southeast corner of Ewing and Second streets

Behind the Knights of Columbus building

Off Walnut Street behind the Jackson County Public Library

Behind Peace Lutheran Church

Off South Chestnut Street between the Edward Jones Andrea Hall office and Integrity Mortgage

Enforcement is another key aspect the city plans to continue with the parking enforcement officer going out more regularly throughout the day to monitor parking and to issue tickets.

Other ticketable violations include parking in an alley, blocking a fire hydrant and parking in a handicap spot without official tags, all of which carry a $25 fine.

Five or more unpaid parking tickets will result in a vehicle being towed and its registration suspended by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Wheeler said with the current COVID-19 pandemic environment, downtown parking hasn’t been as much of an issue lately.

“With enforcement, it has been better,” he said. “That’s why we didn’t want to take too big of a jump with the fine, and we’ll see how this works out.”

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