Planning officials postpone parking boot decision
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — Parking boots for unauthorized vehicles may become a reality in the area, but city officials want more time to work out the details.
The new ordinance falls in line with Wisconsin statute § 349.137, which allows for the use of immobilization devices, also known as parking boots, by private parking lot owners. According to the ordinance, any business or property owner that wishes to use the boot must adhere to the statute which requires signage to be displayed prohibiting parking in a time-sensitive area, which would be subject to the immobilization device. According to the ordinance, one sign must be posted for every 10 parking spots.
In addition, the boots must go through a licensed parking enforcer, which would authorize the use of such a device. That license would be issued through the city. They must also have an insurance policy for bodily injury and property damage liability, which would cover any potential damage that would come from a device in the amount of at least $1,000,000.
In circumstances where a parking boot is applied and the fine is paid, or a deferral agreement is signed, a parking enforcer must remove the immobilization device within 60 minutes. If deferred, the person fined must pay within 14 days, or have the amount of the fine tripled plus additional costs. However, having a parking enforcer for a private lot on call 24 hours a day may be a hold up for some property owners.
“There has to be a person available 24 hours a day,” said City Attorney Logan Beveridge. “So if you’re illegally parked in some private parking lot and it’s 3AM, and you have some place to be for work, or whatever, and you come out to find a boot on your car, there needs to be somebody you can contact, and have a response within 60 minutes.”
Questions rose with many ‘what if’ and ‘how’ scenarios — examples include if the parking enforcer did not show up in 60 minutes, or if the person receiving the parking boot disputes the fine. Alder Phillips made a recommendation to push the move until next month, due to the lack of specification around how to properly contest a parking boot, which was not included in the initial ordinance, set to be decided at a later date.
An internal staff committee and a process would have to be put together when a boot is contested, and Beveridge would like to gather information and statistics from other areas that utilize parking boots to gauge their processes, in order to possibility incorporate them into the city’s.
“Postponing it until next month might be a good idea.” said Alder Mary McComb.
Alders voted unanimously to postpone any discussion of an approval on a parking boot ordinance until next month at the earliest.