St. Paul residents should be on alert this winter. One parking mistake can turn into a $300 fee. St. Paul resident Myriah Austin found this out the hard way. Austin, who was visiting a friend in West St. Paul left and came outside to find out her car was gone. “Where’s my car?” Austin’s first thought was that it was stolen. Austin, considering every possible scenario in her head, decides to call the city only to find out her car was impounded.
This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.
We have many expenses this season with the holidays right around the corner. Having to budget this month can be a challenge, buying gifts for loved ones and preparing a feast for the family. What happens when an unexpected bill comes your way and have to pay right on the spot? Austin finds this out the hard way.
Very upset, Austin arrives at the city’s impound facility to find out how much she needed to pay. She was shocked to find the total bill was $280 dollars. Tears came to Austin’s eyes, “I can’t afford this, not this month.” Austin had bills to pay, groceries to buy, and this nearly $300 expense was not in her budget. Heavy on her mind were the Christmas presents she needed to purchase for her family. Austin stated sadly, “I won’t be able to buy the presents I planned on.”
The base price to get a vehicle out of the St. Paul impound lot is $209, and that’s if you pick up your vehicle the same day it’s towed, if not, a $15 storage fee is charged per day. The city also charges folks a $56 ticket for the parking violation. That brings the grand total to $280 dollars.
Austin commented that the city should give people the ticket first, and not tow right away. This is Austin’s first year being a St. Paul resident. She came from Minneapolis not realizing the “perk” of living in Minneapolis is that the tow charge is quite a bit less, $138 dollars, a $18 storage fee, and $6 violation fee. A total of $162 dollars, and a difference of $118. The city of St. Paul has two impound lot locations so they recommend you call before you arrive. It would be bad enough to have your car towed and have to pay a huge fee, even worse to show up at the wrong facility.
Let’s learn from Austin’s mistake and remember to watch out for “no parking” signs and observe snow emergency routes. Snow emergency’s are when residents are asked to follow specific parking guidelines. You can find information on the city’s website which they offer in fifty-two languages. The Website address is www.stpaul.gov or you can call 651-266-9700 with any questions regarding the rules for your street. This holiday season all trips should be merry and bright, and not involve a visit to the impound lot.