Unpaid parking tickets piling up

NAUGATUCK — Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess wants a better way to collect on parking tickets.

The borough currently has about 4,600 parking tickets outstanding, he said.

“It’s gone back a long time,” he said.

The borough can take ticket evaders to court to collect, but it often costs more to file a court case than the ticket is worth, Hess said.

In the past, he said town attorneys attempted to collect tickets, but that practiced stopped at least 10 years ago.

“We want to implement a much more stringent process,” Hess said.

Hess said fines are only collectable for three years after the tickets are issued. He said there are just over 1,000 outstanding tickets now that are collectable, Hess said.

Police Chief Christopher Edson said the most effective way for the municipality to collect money owed for parking tickets is through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Anyone with five outstanding parking tickets would not be able to renew their registrations, he said.

While it doesn’t cost anything for the borough to join the state program, it may cost something on the back end to make sure the assessor’s computer was compatible with the state system.

Burgess Patrick Scully suggested the borough boot cars for people who don’t pay their tickets, but Edson said that could take police resources away from other things. He said the borough would have to write an ordinance and decide on a threshold at which point the police department would boot the cars.

Officials also considered a simpler option — sending a follow-up reminder for people to pay their ticket once they’re past due.

The board did not take any action on the issue and is expected to discuss it further during its November meeting.

Luke Marshall contributed to this article.