In September of 2018, the Nichols City Council (the Council) first began discussing instituting a parking ordinance. In particular, the Council focused on truck parking, as several residents complained about a truck parked in front of main street businesses for an extended period of time. In March of 2019, concerns about truck parking resurfaced, stemming from concern about a truck parked near the Casey’s Gas Station for more than twenty-four hours. Since then, the Council has encountered several incidents of smaller vehicles parked on city streets for days at a time, causing snow removal and road maintenance difficulties. To address all of these concerns, the Council put together Parking Ordinance 20191311-3. To begin the process of codifying the ordinance, the Council held its first reading and public hearing on the ordinance at their regular meeting on Wednesday, November 13th.
Modeled around similar ordinances in other cities throughout the county, Parking Ordinance 20191311-3 reads as follows:
55.11.(5) Restricted Fire District Twenty-Four Hour Parking
(a) No person shall park or allow to stand a vehicle on the roadway of any street within the “Restricted Fire District” longer than twenty-four (24) hours consecutively without having moved the same.
(b) Penalty. Vehicles in violation shall be ticketed and may be towed to a Municipal or private parking lot and the costs of said towing and parking violation be assessed to the owner of said vehicle. The fine for a twenty-four (24) hour violation shall be five dollars ($5.00) per incident.
At the first public hearing on the ordinance, no one from the public forum spoke about the proposed changes. The Council plans to hold a second public hearing on the ordinance at their December 11th regular meeting and to wave the third reading. Though the Council cannot officially enact the new ordinance until after their final public hearing, they did take a test vote on it at the November 13th meeting. Sitting Council Members indicated they would unanimously pass it.
Along with their more serious business of addressing the parking ordinance, the Council also celebrated the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department’s well received soup supper fundraiser. Fire Chief Kevin Flynn stated, “We had a successful soup supper. We went through a lot of chili. It’s always humbling how many generous people come out and support us. . . . I always loose track of how many people come out, but I would guess about 200 people came.”