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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Downtown parking enforcement program ends

  • A change Leavenworth residents may notice in the new year is a lack of enforcement concerning downtown parking time limits.
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  • A change Leavenworth residents may notice in the new year is a lack of enforcement concerning downtown parking time limits.
    Three-hour parking signs remain in place, and it's technically still against city ordinance to exceed the time limits.
    But, the Leavenworth Police Department no longer has a parking enforcement officer to issue tickets for violating the ordinance.
    The parking enforcement officer position was cut from the city of Leavenworth's 2014 budget.
    Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department, said other officers are unable to monitor how long cars are parked downtown.
    "Our officers are just not in a position to spend that amount of time down there," he said.
    Nicodemus said the Police Department stopped its enforcement of downtown parking time limits when the parking enforcement officer left her position Dec. 19. The deputy chief said he hasn't heard any complaints about the time limit not being enforced.
    City commissioners decided to cut funding for downtown parking enforcement this past summer as they worked to avoid raising property taxes in 2014.
    In 2013, the city budgeted $51,575 in expenses for downtown parking enforcement, and the program was estimated to generate $6,950 in revenue.
    The city initially budgeted $52,870 in expenses for the program this year. The budgeted increase was due to anticipated increases and salary and benefit expenses.
    Former Finance Director Dan Williamson said cutting the program saved $45,920 in the 2014 budget.
    Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens had asked city commissioners to consider removing language concerning timed parking and the parking enforcement officer from the city's Municipal Code of Ordinances as well as taking down the three-hour parking signs.
    But, commissioners decided last month to leave the parking signs in place even though the time limit won't be enforced by police. Commissioners suggested the matter could be reviewed in six months.
    Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Preisinger said the signs will serve as a reminder, and people may not abuse downtown parking as much as they would if the signs weren't in place.
    "Hopefully that will work," he said.
    Preisinger said commissioners decided to leave the signs in place after hearing from many downtown business owners.
    During a Dec. 17 meeting, it was suggested commissioners may still consider an ordinance that removes language about timed parking from the city's Municipal Code of Ordinances as long as it doesn't call for taking down signs.
    City Clerk Karen Logan said she doesn't intend to bring a modified ordinance to the Leavenworth City Commission unless it's requested. She said the three-hour time limit can remain in the city ordinances even if it's not enforced.
    "There are some ordinances on the books that we don't enforce," she said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Nicodemus said police still will respond to the downtown area for complaints involving things such as illegal parking in handicap spaces, parking against traffic flow and taking up more than one parking space.
    "There's a number of violations we can respond to," he said.

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