ELLSWORTH — It’s that time of year again: the days of barbecues, beach days and parking tickets.
An agent will be canvassing the downtown area Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., said Police Chief Glenn Moshier.
The enforcement area includes State Street, Water Street, Main Street, Franklin Street and the lower City Hall parking lot. All of the areas mentioned above are 2-hour parking.
The fine for overtime parking is $10. The fine for parking under or near a no parking sign is also $10.
The fine for parking in a handicapped parking space without a handicap license plate or placard properly displayed is $100.
Officers will also be enforcing wrong-way parking on all streets, meaning that cars must be parked in the direction of travel for the side of the road they are parked on. The fine for parking the wrong way is $10.
This year’s parking enforcement agent is a 17-year-old girl from Old Town, Moshier said.
The city will not chalk tires this year, said Moshier, after a three-judge panel in Michigan ruled in April that marking a tire with chalk violates the Fourth Amendment right to freedom from “unreasonable search and seizure.”
Instead, the agent will be logging license plates and times on a map, Moshier said, and checking to see when the same plate is logged in that space.
Confusion over whether or not chalking is legal has been widespread since the ruling.
At least one police department in East Hampton, N.Y., has decided to continue the practice, with a lawyer for the city arguing that chalking is a “reasonable part of its ‘community caretaker’ function to ensure efficient, orderly parking,” according to the East Hampton Star newspaper.
The Ellsworth department brings in between $3,000 and $4,000 per year in parking enforcement violation fees, Moshier said.
The city does not enforce parking violations in private lots, such as the Maine Coast Mall or Walmart, unless it is asked by property owners to do so, Moshier said.