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Parking fines to increase

COVINGTON - The City of Covington Parking Authority has approved an increase in fines for violating parking time limits on the Square.

Now, first-time violators will get a warning, accompanied by a pamphlet that provides information on time limits for downtown parking.

Upon the second and third offenses, violators will be fined $10, and $50 for the fourth violation and subsequent violations during a one-year time frame, under the Parking Authority's recommendation. The new fines are contingent upon approval by Municipal Court Judge David Strickland.

"When I next update my bond order, I intend to increase the amounts as requested by the mayor and council and Parking Authority," Strickland said, adding he expects the fines to go into effect sometime in July.

Previously, violators were fined $3 per violation, regardless of how many violations they racked up. That rate has been in effect for 30 years, said Main Street Covington Director Josephine Kelly.

"The role of the Parking Authority is to manage the parking resource in a manner that best projects and promotes the business vitality of the district," said Kelly. "Parking fines are used in all business districts to deter violators. It is important to note that on the first violation, it is only a warning. This was instituted so that the system would be user-friendly and not penalize people who were shopping or doing business in the district and would create awareness and education about the parking zones in the district."

Parking time limits are two hours for the outer ring and one block off the Square and 12 hours for the inner ring.

Mayor Kim Carter informed the City Council of the changes at its June 15 meeting, saying no vote by the council was required.