Moline re-evaluating parking rules after ticket complaints

MOLINE - Business owners in downtown Moline say the city's new parking enforcer does a little bit too much enforcing.

"Over the last year or so we`ve notice a bigger change with customers not being able to find a spot to park, being ticketed, so we`ve have some problems in that respect," said Julie Griffin at Floorcrafters Inc.

Almost a year ago Moline hired a private company to enforce the parking downtown after the city saw too many people were abusing the rules.

"We want to make sure that those prime spots are available to them and not being used by someone that`s parking their vehicle all day long or for many hours," said Mayor Stephanie Acri.

However, that's not the problem anymore. In ten months, the parking enforcement officer handed out close to 3,000 tickets. That's almost three times as many as the city did. The company brought in $63,6000 in fines. Most of the tickets are violating the two-hour limit.

"A lot of your eating places around here should be able to serve people and get them in and out before two hours," said Leona Maria at King's Daughters Thrift Shop.

While the company is just doing its job, business owners now question whether handing out tickets is hurting them in the long run.  The city is looking at possibly changing their parking rules.

"We don`t want someone parking down there for eight hours, but we also don`t want to enforce to a level where we`re not a welcoming environment for shoppers. We want to make sure people know that they're welcomed here," said Mayor Acri.

A committee has been formed to come up with a better parking plan. They've sent out surveys to downtown businesses and residents to get their feedback.