Legislation designed to increase collections of fines from parking violations was introduced this week into the Montgomery County Council.
Among other things, the bill would allow the use of "Denver boots" to immobilize vehicles that have a large number of outstanding violations, allow assesments of a late penalties if violations have not been paid or contested 15 days after ticket issuance and allow assessment of administrative costs if the vehicles are impounded or immobilized.
It is estimated that the legislation would result in more than $292,000 in additional revenue.
According to police statistics, an estimated 150,000 parking tickets issued during the fiscal year that ended July 1, about 20 percent, were not paid. About three-quarters of the violations outstanding are against motorists registered in the District and Virginia.
Confiscation currently is the only effective means of causing the out-of-state violators to pay their fines. But although more than 2,000 vehicles are eligible each month for impoundment, only about 1 per cent are actually impounded, due to time involved and lack of tow companies. It is estimated that using the boot would mean that five times as many of those vehicles could be dealt with.
Under the legislation a $5 fee would be assessed on returned checks and on uncontested violations that were paid after 15 days following issuance. An administrative fee (expected to be $10) could be assessed on cars towed or immobilized. In addition, parking fines could go higher than the current $10 limit.
In other action, two bills were introduced regarding a mandatory refundable deposit on all beverage containers. One bill would extend the enforcement date from January, 1978, as was mandated in legislation passed in 1975. The other bill would repeal the 1975 legislation.
As passed in 1975, all beverage containers sold in the county would have a minimum cash refund value of a nickel, effective next January. The law also provided however, for cooperation with other jurisdictions in such legislation. So far neither the District nor Prince George's County has passed such legislation.
The council is considering repealing the law or extending its enactment date because of fears that if Montgomery county is the only major jurisdiction to have the legislation, its shopowners will be hurt.
"The problem is that when we passed the law the other jurisdictions said, 'Yeah man, it's great legislation.' Then they backed off," said council president John Menke. "Montgomery County can't do it alone."
The council also:
Authorized a public hearing at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday on an $880,000 emergency supplements appropriation and utilization of $920,000 of county bonds to pay for permanently sealing 58 miles of county roads that are covered with crushed rock that contains asbestos. The action result from recommendations by the Environmental protection Agency which determined that the rock is a potential health hazard.
Approved County Executive James P. Gleason's appointment of Alex Wernick as director of the Department of Liquor Control. Wernick, 37, of Cincinnati, has been a wine and beer executive for 11 years. He succeeds Jerome Baylin, who directed the county's liquor operations for five years until resigning last year to start his own business. The Department of Liquor Control operates 21 stores and is the sole supplier for the county'a wine and beer retailers. The directorship pays $37,000 a year.