Posted at: 11/19/2013 6:43 PM
By: Ellery McCardle

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Investigation: Rochester Owed $122,918 in Parking Fees

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Many of us know the feeling when we see an envelope on our car windshield when we get a parking ticket.

But we know not everyone pays them.

We found, unpaid parking tickets in Rochester total up to more than $100,000.

In downtown Rochester, you've got to count coins to get a parking space. But how many of us come back to our car or truck to find a parking ticket?

"I know no one likes getting a parking ticket but hopefully when they do they understand why," said Janet Scofield, a community service officer with the Rochester Police Department.

She has been issuing parking tickets for 10 years. She gets it. No one likes them and she often gets an ear full. 

"I try and take it in stride," said Scofield.

ABC 6 NEWS did some digging and turns out, people owe the City of Rochester $122,918 in unpaid parking tickets.

"I think it's pretty outrageous," said Theodore Eckhardt of Rochester.

Despite what some people may think, the program is not a big money maker for the city. That's according to Sandra Fenton, the city's parking ticket warrant clerk.

So where does your money go?

Let's say you get a ticket for $17. $12 of that goes to the state. The remaining $5 helps cover equipment costs and salaries of those enforcing the parking rules.

The money is supposed to refund the program, but it doesn't always.

Some people owe a lot of money.

Here's a list of the top five people who owe the most.

1.) $909.00

2.) $825.00

3.) $432.00

4.) $367.00

5.) $267.00

Who are usually caught with expired meters?

"Employees who work downtown," said Fenton.

She says parking enforcement is crucial to keeping traffic moving, mainly because of so many people coming from out-of-town.

So what is the city doing to collect that $122,918? Nothing besides their usual enforcement. 

Officials, like Janet Scofield hope people will do the responsible thing.

"We're working to get that number down," said Scofield.

If you don't pay your ticket after a certain period of time, you won't get a boot on your tire. Instead, you could get towed, or even arrested. Here's how the late fees work. Seven days after you get a parking ticket you'll be charged an extra $5. After another week, $5 more will be added to your bill. After 21 business days, a warrant for your arrest will be issued.