KEYSER - After deciding not to take up a request by a business owner to eliminate the parking meters in downtown Keyser, the city council will now discuss the possibility of raising the fines for those who either don't pay the meters or allow them to expire.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - After deciding not to take up a request by a  business owner to eliminate the parking meters in downtown Keyser, the city council will now discuss the possibility of raising the fines for those who either don’t pay the meters or allow them to expire.
During his report to the council Wednesday evening, police chief Tom Golden said he feels the $3 fee for a parking ticket is enough to deter people from leaving their cars on the street.
“People are just blowing us off,” he said, explaining that the comments he often hears are “it’s just $3.”
“I’m not sure we’re approaching this right,” he said, noting that the purpose of parking meters is to keep vehicles from parking in the same spot for long periods of time.
He feels a lot of people, however, are either not bothering to put quarters in the meter or not worrying whether they keep the meter fed because, “it’s only $3.”
“I suggest at some point we look at upping that to a reasonable amount,” he said. “Our current fees are a little low compared to others … we need to get up with the times.”
A few weeks ago, Indie on Main owner Stephen Settimi had asked the council to consider eliminating the parking meters altogether, as he felt they were a hindrance to customers who come downtown to eat or enjoy programs.
The mayor and council had decided at that time, however, to keep the meters to eliminate people from parking on the street and not moving their vehicles - thus using up the spaces that could be utilized by the customers.
Wednesday, mayor Damon Tillman suggested holding a work session to discuss several issues, with the possible parking meter increase among them.
“There are a lot of things we need to hash out and get on the same page,” he said.
The work session, which is open to the public, will be held Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Elsewhere in his report, Chief Golden reported that the Keyser Police Department is averaging about 350 calls per month, and they had made 11 arrests in the past month.