The ticket amnesty program may be returning to the city of Jamestown.
City Council met Monday for a work session to discuss the comptroller, clerk, treasurer, assessor, information services and corporation counsel budgets. During the meeting, council members spoke about ways to increase revenues for the city.
"Up to this point, all we have been doing is hearing from the various departments," said Greg Rabb, council president and D-At Large. "A lot of times, the questions are very particular about the specific items and ways that we can possibly cut costs. I feel that those are less and less. We are looking for every possible way that we can raise more revenue."
Marilyn Fiore-Lehman, city corporation counsel, reviews her department’s portion of the budget with city council members during Monday’s meeting.
P-J photo by Liz Skoczylas
One of the ways to increase revenues is to bring the ticket amnesty program back. According to Jim Olson, city clerk, there are currently around 300 unpaid tickets.
When the ticket amnesty program last ran in 2009, the city collected $116,303 - $74,894 in parking ticket fines and another $41,409 in accumulated interest. Residents who paid their outstanding parking tickets by a certain date were responsible only for the principal amount of their tickets and half of the associated penalties.
"That did help us once before, and I think we're probably going to talk about doing it once again to look for another way to bring in a few more thousand dollars, or $10,000 or whatever," Rabb said.
If the program is put into place, it will likely run sometime early next year.
Council members will be continuing to meet with department heads in the upcoming weeks. Additionally, they will be looking for ways to continue cutting expenses and adding revenues to the 2013 budget.
"There might be a few things we can do to raise revenue, but both last week and this week, we are talking about everything in (the budget) in the hopes of finding something," Rabb said. The pennies can actually start adding up, hopefully turning into some serious dollars. This group has been through it before, and is going through it with a fine-tooth comb, as I expected them to."
City Council will meet for a voting session next Monday at 7:30 p.m. to address regular business. The city has until Dec. 1 to formally adopt a budget.