Halifax parking tickets and false alarm fines up, ferries staying frequent
Halifax regional councillors met Wednesday to talk budget options. Here are some highlights.
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Halifax regional councillors met Wednesday to go through some options in their fiscal 2017 budget. Here are three choices of note:
Meter fines staying put, other parking fines going up
After a public backlash over a plan to raise parking meter fines, Halifax regional councillors have voted to raise every other kind of parking fine instead.
At the meeting on Wednesday, councillors voted in favour of one of two staff options to recoup the money that raising meter fines from $25 to $50 would have brought in.
That option means the fine for violating the winter parking ban is doubling to $100, the fine for parking in a fire lane is going from $100 to $150, and the fine for more than 40 other parking offences is going either from $25 to $45, $50 to $100 or $100 to $150.
That option will bring in about $1.5 million annually, but the hikes still require provincial approval before you’ll see them on your windshield.
False alarm fines rising
Fines for false alarms from home security systems are going up in Halifax next year.
Halifax regional councillors voted Wednesday in favour of raising the fines for second, third, fourth and subsequent false alarms.
First offences will continue to be free – just a warning – but the fine for a second offence will go up to $200 from $100 this year, the fine for a third offence will rise from $125 to $300, and the fine for fourth and subsequent offences will rise from $150 from $500.
Those changes are expected to save the municipality $348,150. Last year, 4,700 false alarms – at $590 per fire call and $48 per police call – cost the municipality more than $1 million, of which it only recouped $226,750.
Increased Big Lift ferry service to continue past bridge repair
Increased ferry service is here to stay – at least for six months following the completion of the Big Lift.
Halifax Transit started running the ferry every 15 minutes on weekday evenings and extended service on Sundays to match Saturdays in March 2015 when the Big Lift project started.
Coun. Sam Austin motioned at Halifax Transit’s budget meeting to ask that the service be extended, and on Wednesday, councillors approved a pilot version of the plan.
Ridership, especially on Sundays, has been up during the Big Lift, and councillors voted to keep the service for six months to see if ridership stays up when the bridge is done.
That will cost $155,000 to the end of fiscal 2017, and another $77,500 for two months of fiscal 2018.