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Officials seeking input on parking fine increases

Selectmen to take a vote following Aug. 4 public hearing

DUBLIN — The town of Dublin will hold a public hearing in early August to inform citizens about the new parking ordinance proposed by Police Chief Steve Sullivan, Town Administrator Sherry Miller announced at a Select Board meeting Monday.

The hearing will take place on Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Dublin Town Hall. Sullivan’s proposal establishes that fines for parking in a prohibited area will be $50, fines for parking in a handicap-reserved spot will be $250, similar to the state penalty and parking in a fire lane will be $100.

Select Board Chair Sterling Abram said during the meeting that the hearing will help clarify any residents’ questions and concerns regarding the fines, and give Sullivan the opportunity to present his proposal publicly.

Selectman Paul Delphia said he believes many residents are not aware of what the changes are. “There has been a lot of speculation and people overreacting. The hearing will help people have a better picture of the situation. Some don’t really know what the current fines are, they just hear the word ‘increase’ and they get upset,” Delphia said.

For Abram, the increase won’t affect most Dublin residents because parking fines are not issued frequently in Dublin. “It’s definitely not something that happens every day,” Abram said.

According to police records, three parking tickets were issued in 2014, and 18 in 2013.

Miller presented a document that compares the current Dublin parking ordinance with the proposed ordinance developed by the Police Department; it will be available online on the town’s website prior to the hearing.

After the hearing in August, the Select Board will vote to either accept or reject the chief’s proposal, Abram said.

In previous board meetings with Sullivan, selectmen had expressed their support for the proposal. Selectman Sturdy Thomas said during a meeting on June 2 that he believed an increase in parking fines would help officers enforce the town’s parking regulations. “Ten-dollars is not really a fine, it’s a more like a parking fee. It is not preventing people from doing it,” Thomas said.

“We are in agreement to support those changes,” Abram said in meeting held June 9.

In other business, the selectmen continue to develop the Capital Improvements Plan, a budgeting tool that officials use to project expenses the town might face in the future. At Monday’s meeting, the selectmen met with Dublin Fire Chief Thomas Vanderbilt and discussed when would it be appropriate to purchase a new rescue truck and a new reel truck. Vanderbilt said the current reel truck has been in service for 42 years.

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