WARREN - Drivers with outstanding city parking tickets better pay them off before mid-summer or face having higher fines and the possibility of not being able to renew their driver's licenses.
The municipal court is completing the installation of a new computer system that will allow it to provide third notices to people who have not paid tickets.
It is after the third notice that vehicle owners owing parking fines may face not being able to renew their driver's licenses without a release from the court.
Parking tickets are $10 if paid within 10 days of receipt. Fines increase by $15 to $25 if paid between the 11th and 40th day. Fines increase to $78 after the 41st day.
However, if there is an administrative hold on licenses, vehicle owners will have to pay $15 to release their licenses.
The municipal court ordered a new computer software system in 2012 from Amcad and it is expected to complete the changeover from Courtview in the next several months. The cost for the changeover, including servers, computers and printers, was $73,975. It is being financed through the court's computerization fund.
By the numbers
$10 - cost of parking ticket
$25 - cost if not paid within 11 to 41 days
$78 - cost after 41 days
$34,726 - amount Warren received in 2009
$27,754 - in 2010
$23,286 - in 2011
$19,016 - in 2012
The software for the parking portion of the new computer system is being purchased from Brazos Technology. It costs $12,000. The hardware costs $11,950.
''We are the first court system in Ohio using Amcad, which is a court computer system,'' Municipal Court Judge Thomas Gysegem said.
Gysegem said the courts decided to change from Courtview to a new software program because it is more than 10 years old and is projected to cost the court a significant amount to upgrade.
City auditor David Griffing earlier this year reported the amount of money the city has been given by the court for parking fines has declined in four of the last five years.
According to city records, the city was given $26,338 in parking fines in 2008, $34,726 in 2009, $27,754 in 2010, $23,986 in 2011 and $19,016 in 2012.
City officials, as well as Anthony J. Iannucci Jr., who operates Warren Parking System LLC, which has the contract to monitor parking in the downtown area, said they do not know why the number of fines has been declining.
The contract between the city and WPS on monitoring the downtown area and operating its three parking lots, including the Franklin Street deck, is scheduled to end at the end of September.
Gysegem said the courts received from WPS 2,513 tickets to process in 2010, 2,149 tickets in 2011 and 1,864 tickets in 2011.
''The number of tickets we are processing is declining,'' Gysegem said.
Gysegem said there were more than $39,000 worth of parking tickets issued in 2012.
''We are hoping to have the computer software completely installed by mid-summer,'' Gysegem said. ''Once the system is completely installed we will almost instantaneously be able to put blocks on driver licenses through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, so the owners of the vehicles will not be able to renew their licenses until they take care of their fines with the court.''