Eau Claire City Council votes to institute new winter parking rules

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Winter will soon be upon us and that means another round of trying to park while snowplows work to clear the streets, but the Eau Claire City Council met Tuesday night and voted on potential changes to its alternate-side parking rules.

Since 2015, alternate side parking has only been used during a snow event, but local officials are looking to change that after several complaints from local community members during last winter.

After record snowfalls, the City Council has voted to institute nightly alternate side parking throughout the winter.

On Tuesday, the council voted 8 to 1 to approve the new measure, which will institute alternate side parking from November 1 to May 1, between the hours of midnight and 7a.m.

People who park on the wrong side of the street will receive a $30 ticket and can be towed.

In February, 2,614 parking tickets were written, which generated more than 60- thousand dollars for the city's general fund.

City council member Andrew Werthmann, says while going back to the old standard may help clear the streets, he also says there should be a new fine system to lessen the burden on city residents.

"My biggest concern is that we handed out many more tickets under the old system,” Werthmann said. “In fact, in 2014-15 we handed out 8,000 tickets, with almost $250,000 generated from it. These are fees that people are paying who often times don't have extra money to pay a fee."

Werthmann was the only no vote on the measure, but says he will bring forth a new amendment in the near future to restructure the fine system.

He says to keep an eye out for new fee reforms in the future.