Wilmington considering raising thresholds for booting and towing | The Latest from WDEL News

City of Wilmington residents with outstanding parking tickets may have a little more time to pay up before the city takes their cars.

Wilmington City Council is considering an ordinance that would increase the thresholds before the City could boot or tow vehicles based upon parking debt.

If Ordinance 24-023 passes, the city would not be able to boot a vehicle until its owner had $300 in unpaid traffic citations, up from $200.

A vehicle would be subject to being towed and impounded if its owner had $600 in parking debt, up from the existing $500.

Bill sponsor Councilwoman Latisha Bracy said one concern is that if someone had a maximum-fine parking ticket in the city, each one would go over $100, meaning it would take two violations before the owner could be without a car.

"It's giving our residents a little more time before they're on that booting and towing list," Bracy said.

Wilmington Finance Director J. Brett Taylor told the Finance & Economic Development Committee that the city has two "scofflaw vehicles" that go through the city reading license plates to determine of a vehicle's owner is in violation of the booting or towing standards.

He said with just two vehicles and a city with over 70,000 residents, even those on the hook could still have extra time.

"There's a good majority of people out there that have over $200 who have yet to get that boot."

Councilwoman Zanthia Oliver said she supports giving residents more time to pay up their fines, especially in an economy with rising prices, but said that the higher thresholds could just create an even higher unpayable bill.

"If she can't pay the 2, how can she pay the 3? And the towing is increased. It looks like it could work one way, but I could see how it works another."

Council President Trippi Congo asked Taylor if the city could consider not starting with boots and tows, but rather with warnings.

"I think that would be a much fairer route to take because I think raising the threshold, I understand the intent, but I think it could backfire."

Taylor said a conversation could be had on the policy, with Congo voicing uncertainty on whether City Council could put a warning into the booting and towing language.

Ordinance 24-023 cleared the committee, it could not be considered by the full council until at least the June 20 meeting, and then there are just two more before council breaks for Summer following July 11.

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