By JIMMY LAWTON
OGDENSBURG -- Ogdensburg City Council may raise its fines for parking violations and other offenses to ensure residents obey the law.
At the request of City Manager John Pinkerton the council has directed a review of its fine schedule.
Pinkerton said there has been a disturbing trend of people ignoring parking restrictions because of the “low” fine, which can range from $10 to $85, under the current law.
He said announcements requesting people move their vehicles out of fire lanes at the expo and sports games at OFA were allegedly answered with “It’s only $10, I’ll pay the fine.”
Pinkerton said that attitude presents possible safety concerns in the event of an emergency. Pinkerton said he doesn’t want to over penalize people, but wants to ensure laws are obeyed.
“If we had a tragedy or a fire that would be terrible,” Pinkerton said.
He said the fear of an accident prompt him to investigate the matter.
“When the police department brought it to my attention we looked at what other communities were doing,” he said.
Pinkerton shared the fining schedules of surrounding villages with city councilors, who are expected to review them and consider a increasing the penalty.
City Police Chief Rick Polniak said fines for various offenses throughout the city have not be reviewed for “long time.”
Although a formal vote was not taken, a consensus of the council directed Pinkerton to review the city’s fines, especially in regard to parking.
City council is expected to discuss the issue further at the next council meeting scheduled for June 27.