Gainesville targets 19,000 unpaid parking tickets

Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 2:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 2:03 p.m.

In the upcoming weeks, Gainesville City Hall plans to send out letters to drivers with unpaid parking tickets, notifying them that they could face a collections agency and, in some cases, the inability to renew their motor vehicle registration if they do not pay up.

City officials say they are taking those steps because of about 19,000 unpaid tickets dating back to 2008 that total $600,000.

“It’s $600,000,” Budget and Finance Director Mark Benton said. “It’s time to improve the collection rate.”

In a Wednesday memo to the City Commission, City Manager Russ Blackburn said the city was sending out the letters to “stimulate collection of unpaid tickets.” The letters will include the date and amount of each ticket and notify drivers that, if they have at least three unpaid tickets, the Department of Motor Vehicles will deny renewal of their vehicle registration.

“The letter will also notify them that failure to settle the tickets may result in the issue being turned over to a collection agency,” Blackburn wrote.

The Finance Department is expected to send the letters out within the next two weeks. Benton said that although it has been several years, the city has sent out notifications of unpaid tickets before. The possibility of contracting with a collections agency is a new step.

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