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$3M In Parking Revenue Keeps Budget Afloat 

This car in the Clinton Avenue lot in Huntington village was ticketed and booted Wednesday.

All that loose change you keep for the parking meter can really add up – possibly up to $3 million.

The Town of Huntington’s Public Safety department anticipates bringing in more than $3 million in revenue in 2014 from increased parking meter fees and aggressive enforcement of parking rules.

According to the town’s 2014 budget proposal released on Monday, income for the Public Safety department, which enforces parking codes, is expected to generate about $3.6 million in revenue, making up 1.96 percent of the town’s total revenue in 2014.

Although the town fell over $900,000 short from their $2.3-million estimate in anticipated revenue from parking meter fees for 2013, next year the town expects to bring in $1.8 million in income after increasing hourly meter fees from $0.25 to $1.

Town spokesman A.J. Carter said Wednesday that the increase will be implemented sometime by the end of the year when digital muni-meter systems are installed in core areas of the village.

The budget also indicates that additional meters will be installed at “selected town parking facilities,” generating an anticipated $1.5 million in new revenue.

About $1.25 million in revenue will come from parking violation fines, as compared to the $940,000 in revenue the town made in 2013.

According to Carter, the town did not meet its mark in anticipated revenue this year because officials held off on enforcing an increased ticket fine schedule for violations due to expired or unpaid meters.

Although there are no official long-term plans to hire additional code enforcement personnel, Carter said, the public safety department estimates in the budget that they will write 25,000 parking summonses in 2013, as opposed to the 14,000 issued in 2012. Carter said the department currently employs four part-time employees.

The town is also looking to invest in an extensive parking ticket management system that includes online ticket management software, five handheld ticket writers with built-in printers, and a web-based payment feature. The handheld ticket writers will be an upgrade from the handwritten tickets the public safety officials currently use to issue violation notices, the spokesman said.

Carter said Wednesday that he did not know the financial scope of the investment, but vendors will provide the town with estimates by Oct. 18.

As of Jan. 1, 2013, the spokesman said, code enforcement officials began enforcing two-hour parking limits at some municipal town lots by issuing “friendly reminder” warnings or in some cases, tickets.

Rarely, Carter said, does the town boot cars for violations. It is a practice only used in severe cases when drivers have an excessive number of outstanding, unanswered parking summonses, he said, adding that on average, about 12 cars are booted in the town per year because of outstanding parking fines.

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