Middletown City Council voted Monday night to increase the fine for violating parking bans during storms because city officials believe it's the only way to keep cars off the street when it snows.
Drivers caught violating parking bans will now face penalties of $100 per violation, which is three times higher than before.
Middletown Mayor Daniel T. Drew said during Blizzard Charlotte, city crews had to deal with at least 80 illegally parked cars, which caused problems for snow cleanup.
"We had to bring out police to block the road," he said. "We had to plow around them and we had to bring in public works crews to actually dig each car out by hand."
Drew told Eyewitness News that he is hoping higher fines will send a message to residents to take the parking bans seriously.
"We're not looking to collect the money. Anyone who doesn't want to pay the fine can simply move their car," Drew said. "There's a lot here at City Hall and a number of other parking lots, that when there's a ban, they can put their cars for free."
Some residents told Eyewitness News they're just hoping it works.
"I see both sides. You know people have to park, but they also have to plow the streets," said James Stoetzle of Middletown. "So, I don't know if raising it to $100 is going solve it, but we'll have to wait and see, I guess."
Middletown officials said the new fines will go into effect in two weeks.
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Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:01 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:01:35 GMT
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