Josephine County Parks issues nearly 200 parking citations this year
Josephine County, Ore.- Josephine County Parks have written 175 parking citations this year, that's more than double the amount of citations written this time last year.
County park users are expected to pay a small fee to park at the park.
Since Josephine County Parks do not receive any funding from the County or taxes, the parking funds are how Josephine County Parks maintain and expand parks.
"As inflation rises, as costs of wages go up, as we need to continue to repair our facilities, if we can't collect money from people using the parks then we're going to look at raising fees for those that do pay and that's not the right answer. We need everyone to pay their fair share," said Sarah Garceau Wright, Director of Josephine County Parks.
People that are ticketed have to either pay $60 for a dismissal and annual park pass or face parking fines in court.
In the past, Josephine County Parks Department parking offenders only had to pay for annual passes after being cited.
"Before 2006 it was really just an honor system to pay for your day use fees. Only within the last 2 or 3 years are we actually writing citations and catching people. Really last year, 2016, was the first time we had a dismissal program. What would happen prior to then is if you got caught you would only have to buy an annual day use pass. So we found a lot of people who'd go, 'oh I was just waiting for you to catch me, I figured I'd buy a pass after getting the citation.' There was no tap on the wrist. There was no penalty for not following the rules," said Garceau Wright.
Last year 73 percent of parking tickets were cited between 7/28/2016 and 12/31/2016.
As of July 10, Josephine County Parks have already written more than half of last years total citations.