Sewickley Parking Authority turning unpaid tickets over to magistrate

Thursday, October 10, 2019 | 6:01 AM

The 700 people who owe the Sewickley Parking Authority money for unpaid tickets from this year may want to send in their fines.

The authority has begun the process of turning unpaid tickets over to Magisterial District Judge Robert Ford’s office for collection, said Erin Sakalik, assistant borough manager. Anyone with an unpaid ticket can still pay the parking authority directly to avoid receiving a citation letter from the magistrate and an extra $59.50 fee.

Under the previous board, tickets weren’t being enforced for a time due to issues with the parking meters. The current board decided the best approach was to only issue citations for tickets incurred this year. Those with unpaid tickets from before 2019 still owe money to the authority but will not receive a citation, said parking authority board member Del Miller.

“People who are paying for parking, they’re paying for parking for the availability, but they’re also paying for parking because they don’t want to get a ticket. And when we’re not enforcing tickets, then it doesn’t make it fair for everyone else that is paying for the parking,” Miller said.

After downloading information on unpaid tickets from Meter Feeder, the authority sends the information to PennDOT, which provides names and addresses.

The parking authority then writes out its own citations, which the Sewickley Police Department signs and sends to the magistrate.

“We are in the process of writing out the citations now,” said Sakalik, who oversees the authority.

She added that it would likely take a few more weeks to have the citations written out and turned over to the police department.

According to Miller, the amount owed on Sewickley parking tickets increases from $10 to $20 after the fourth day of nonpayment. If a ticket remains unpaid after 30 days, the fee increases to $30.

After 45 days, the borough will begin processing unpaid tickets to citations, which incur the extra charge of $59.50, Miller said. But anyone who owes money still has a chance to avoid the extra charge after the 45th day.

“After 45 days we wait three more days in case someone decides to send that money in,” Miller said.

The authority will begin processing tickets to citation on the 48th day.

Miller said that collecting unpaid tickets is part of the parking authority’s efforts to create availability and turnover of parking for retail customers in the business district.

“Really, the only way you can do it is through time (limits) and price, and then also through enforcement,” he said.

Both Miller and Sakalik encouraged those with unpaid tickets to pay and avoid receiving a citation. Payments can be made using the MeterFeeder website or by sending a check to the Sewickley Parking Authority.

Anyone with questions about payment can call the parking authority during business hours at 412-741-1149.