Parking permit holders face new penalties for lateness

Attention, people who take their time to renew their parking permits with the town. Your tardiness is going to cost you.

The Board of Selectmen has given the go-ahead to the town’s Department of Parking Services to be able to assess a late fee to permit holders who miss deadlines for renewing their yearly permits for municipal spots. People 10 days late for renewals will be charged a flat fee of $25 on top of the renewal cost, and for people between 11 and 20 days late, that fee will go up to $45. After that, permit holders will essentially have to go back in line if they fail to renew, as they will be moved to the bottom of the waiting list for the location.

“They would lose their permit for that year and they would go onto the wait list for the next year,” Roderick Dioquino, business operations supervisor for the department, told the selectmen. “Depending on how fast that wait list goes, that’s when they would get the new permit.”

Mr. Dioquino said that “year after year” people come in after deadlines and “expect their permits to be renewed.” The goal is to try and force people to come in on a timely basis. In a letter to the selectmen, Parking Services Director Allen Corry said that between 20% and 25% of the approximately 5,000 commuter parking permits are returned as many as 60 to 90 days after their deadlines on a yearly basis, with people on wait lists for these spaces going back three to five years.

“The wait list release process cannot be managed accurately or fairly when the permit renewals continue to come in 60 to 90 days late,” Mr. Corry said in the letter, adding that permit holders will be informed of the new regulations in both their initial renewal letters and a second notification along with an email reminder. Also, signs will be put up in the parking lots to remind them.

“Each year we extend the deadline by at least a week to 10 days, and still renewals come in after the extension with no sense of urgency or threat of a penalty,” Mr. Corry wrote.

First Selectman Peter Tesei said the idea made sense because it would spur people to act on their permits.

“Our town’s parking resource is a limited commodity, and people should not just be able to sit on these spaces,” Mr. Tesei said.

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