WAUKEE, Iowa — Waukee police have issued upwards of 180 tickets for snow ordinance violations, despite widespread warning a parking ban was in effect.
“We do a good job of advertising the snow bans through social media and through other outlets,” says Lt. Scott Cunningham. “It surprises me a little bit that we`ve had as much as we`ve had. We just need to get the vehicles off the street.”
Last week, a parking ban went into effect but confused residents like Michelle Renken. “The snow ordinance posted was not how I interpreted the ordinance to be so we got a ticket along with everyone else who was parked there that day,” she says.
The city made the announcement on its Facebook page stating the ordinance would go into effect Thursday at midnight through Friday evening.
“It said Thursday, February 7th through Friday, February 8th at 5 p.m. so the interpretation would be in the night between the 7th and the 8th, so my son drove to school Thursday morning and parked,” she says. Tickets were given to all the students before school was out.
Renken blames a lack of parking at Waukee’s Prairieview School as to why her son and others were forced to find street parking. The school district says 9th graders at the school are not allowed to park at the high school and must abide by city parking rules or find an alternative when the weather is bad. Police say 50 tickets were issued the day Renken’s son received his. Due do the confusion, she says they shouldn’t have to pay the fine.
“It’s not the $25. It’s more like, if you are going to enforce a fine or a snow ordinance, we need to be a little more clear.”
The city says it won’t be refunding tickets, but they do plan to start future ordinances at times other than midnight to avoid any confusion.