KEYSER - Beginning May 1, motorists who fail to pay the parking meter when they park in Keyser will be faced with a $10 fine - to begin with.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Beginning May 1, motorists who fail to pay the parking meter when they park in Keyser will be faced with a $10 fine - to begin with.
For years the Keyser Police Department has fined those who failed to pay the meter $3 if the ticket was returned to the KPD office within the first hour. After that, the fines followed a graduated increase up to a maximum of only $25 if the ticket was over 30 days old.
Police chief Tom Golden has felt, however, that the small fine has not been enough to deter drivers from “parking all day or all night” on the street - taking spaces away from those who might be bringing business to downtown stores, offices and restaurants.
Council member Terry Liller also noted that the small fine may not be enough to cover costs.
“It’s probably costing us more to maintain the system … and it’s not doing what it’s designed to do,” he said.
Mayor Damon Tillman noted that, if motorists wish to avoid the higher ticket price, “it boils down to you put a quarter in the meter.”
Council member Eric Murphy made a motion to increase the fines, and William Zacot seconded it. The motion passed 5-0.
The increases take effect on May 1.
Under the new system, violators will pay $10 if they return the ticket to the KPD within an hour of it being written. After that, the fine in the second hour increases from $5 to $15; 48 hours, from $10 to $20; 30 days, from $15 to $25; and over 30 days, from $25 to $30.
Fines for parking in residential areas without a sticker will increase from $25 to $30 for the first offense and from $50 to $55 for subsequent offenses.
Golden said he believes “most folks, in spite of their actions (of not paying the meters) are in favor of the raise.”