Nelson’s amnesty on $50 parking fines concluded last week, with 4,200 tickets paid at the special amnesty rate of $15.
That resulted in $63,000 in revenue for the city.
“We were pleased with the response of people that came in and that called,” the city’s financial manager Colin McClure said.
“Many were pleased with council’s decision to even provide the amnesty, especially [to] those who had no idea they had a ticket. It is easy enough to have it blow off your windshield or put it in your pocket and forget about it.”
McClure said 71 per cent of participants paid one or two tickets, and the remainder paid more than two.
The city instituted the amnesty in early December and sent out 5,140 letters to people with $50 fines. McClure said 50 per cent of the people who paid were from Nelson, representing 54 per cent of the tickets paid.
For those who did not pay, whether they will now get a letter from a collection agency will depend on the nature of the ticket. For example, McClure said, if someone from Prince George got a single ticket many years ago, the city won’t attempt to collect.
The amnesty was intended to clear the slate for a new software program for parking fines that was implemented in December.
The fines under the new system will be the same as before: $25 goes down to $10 if paid within 14 days, and then up to $50 if not paid within 28 days.
Under the new system, a warning letter will be sent before the fine goes to $50, after again afterwards, followed by a collection letter if still unpaid.
McClure said the new system has efficiencies that will prevent a backlog of unpaid fines.
One-third of the revenue from the amnesty will fund the implementation of the city’s Active Transportation Plan and the rest will go to the downtown waterfront reserve, which is used for various downtown development and beautification projects.