OLIVE HILL – If you like to speed through Olive Hill without your seat belt on before parking on the wrong side of the road, you may want to set some money aside and get your check book ready. The Olive Hill City Council passed their new parking fees ordinance on a second reading last Tuesday and heard from Police Chief Bobby Hall on his department's traffic safety enforcement.

The parking ordinance sets fines ranging from $25 to $55 for violation, with failure to pay within 48 hours resulting in a doubling of the fine. Ignoring the fine completely will lead to a citation in district court.

Parking in a no parking zone, whether marked by sign or yellow curb, will earn you a $25 fine under the new ordinance. So will parking longer than the posted time limit, parking against the flow of traffic – unless otherwise indicated by sign or device – and parking over the lines to take up two or more spaces.

The fine goes up to $30 for parking in front of a fire hydrant or blocking a driveway, business entrance or alley. The fine is the same for parking on or across sidewalks and in areas that are designated for specific other purposes, like loading zones or emergency vehicle parking.

Parking in “a manner as to impede or block the normal flow of traffic” will earn you a $45 fine.

The fine of $55 is reserved for parking in handicapped parking spaces without a permit and for blocking handicapped access ramps.

The city's hope is that, by setting fines at this level, the ordinance will serve as a more effective deterrent to those who ignore parking laws.

Police chief Bobby Hall also updated council on his department's safety enforcement.

The Olive Hill police department has received new in-car radar units for speed enforcement, as well as $9,000 for use in covering overtime for safety enforcement, like seat belt violations and DUI enforcement, as part of a highway safety grant from the state of Kentucky.

Hall explained to council that the state pushes two safety programs through the Kentucky State Police and grants to local departments, the “click it or ticket” seat belt program and DUI enforcement, especially around holiday seasons where drinking and driving become more prevalent and more people are on the road visiting family.

Hall said that officers with his department would be focusing heavily on the seat belt enforcement, as well as checking speeds, of those traveling through the city.

It isn't just bad drivers that need to be wary, though: the city is also looking to crack down on vandals. A new security camera system has been installed at and around the Depot in Olive Hill to discourage and catch anyone who tries to vandalize the historic building or other surrounding properties.

Mayor Jerry Callihan said the city has also repaired cameras at the J.A. “Skinny” Raybourn Park, where vandals recently damaged a restroom door by chopping at it with what was presumed to be an axe.

In other action, council heard an update on the energy savings project. About half of the city's new residential water meters, around 1250, have now been installed, and all of the new lighting has been installed.

While there are still some issues that need to be addressed with them, such as fixes to light fixtures and connection repairs on the new water meters, that project is proceeding as planned. Council moved to disburse funds for the project after hearing from the representatives with Harshaw Trane.

Following executive session to discuss pending litigation, council also moved to declare a tract of land surplus property and return it to the property owners. The property in question was part of an easement granted in 1969 for the construction of a new water tower that was never built. The easement would have been used for an access road and driveway to the tower.

Contact the writer at jwells@journal-times.com.

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