Crackdown continues

Published 11:19 am Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Camper tickets may change to 5 days

The one thing that has caught people’s attention with the recent Ironton Police Department safety and health crackdown is the issue of parking.

Interim Ironton Police Chief Joe Ross said it’s a matter of public safety and enforcing several ordinances that are already in effect.

Ross told Ironton City Council last week that some 150 campers have been moved off city streets.

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Ross said that in the previous week, officers had done 18 crash reports, 40 moving citations, written 92 parking citations, 38 criminal arrests, and towed 22 vehicles.

“We are also actively out serving income tax subpoenas for the Finance Department,” he said, adding that several people have been cited into court for not paying taxes from 2011-2012.

Vice Mayor Craig Harvey said that of the 92 parking citations, he had heard from “91 of them.”

Ross said that the citations were not to generate revenue money for the city.

“We are cleaning up the city and making it a safer place,” he said. “A lot of the complaints come from people parking on the sidewalks and people in electric wheelchairs, they can’t get through unless they go off the curb and into the road. So it’s a safety issue and we are addressing it everyday.”

Councilman Bob Cleary said he hadn’t gotten 91 complaints, but he did get one about a camper that was ticketed.

“They were given 24 hours to get it off the street,” he said, adding he thought it was five days. “I didn’t think it was 24 hours, but Joe sent me the ordinance that we passed and it does state it is 24 hours.”

Ross said the department has not towed any campers yet.

“We’ve just given tickets, we don’t really have any place to put them,” he said, adding they don’t expect anyone to get the campers off the street in 24 hours. “We give a week or two to get them off the street, we understand that. You got a 60-foot camper, you just can’t find someplace to put it in two days.”

Ross said they are working with the owners to get them moved.

Cleary asked legal counsel if the ordinance could be changed. He was told that council could amend the ordinance.

“If that could be changed from 24 hours to five days, I would sponsor that,” he said.

Ross said that “75 percent” of the 92 parking tickets that have been issued are administrative tickets that are $35 paid at the police station, rather that tickets that are dealt with in a court.

“Most of the tickets were for parking on the sidewalk, parking the wrong direction, those are all $35,” he said. “The illegal plates and the expired plates are $135. But most are the $35 tickets.”