El Paso ticket amnesty brings payment flood
Mar 07, 2013 (El Paso Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The city of El Paso has collected more than $2.6 million in previously unpaid traffic citations and parking tickets as a result of the latest amnesty period that will end this weekend, officials said Wednesday.
With three days left, the total has surpassed the $2.5 million collected during the city's previous ticket amnesty in 2009.
City staffers expect to be even busier in the next few days as the two-week
amnesty, which began Feb. 25, enters its last days.
The final day will be Saturday.
Fines can be paid online and at cashiers at municipal court offices.
"We have a line pretty much all day at all substations," Assistant Municipal Clerk Lilia Worrell said.
Worrell said that the lines have not been as long as in 2009 because many people are paying through the Internet. More than $639,000 has been collected online.
During amnesty, a $50 warrant fee plus collection and delinquency fees are waived on unpaid citations.
A news conference is scheduled for today to announce that El Paso police will have a warrant roundup after the amnesty period ends.
More than 8,000 warrants have been cleared during
the amnesty period, municipal officials said.
City officials had said that $46.5 million in uncollected fines was owed to the city before the start of the amnesty period.
Municipal Clerk Richarda Momsen said that the city's portion of the money collected goes into the city's general fund. The state also takes its share.
Officials had said the amnesty period will cost the city about $76,000. About $5,000 is for overtime at municipal courts (including opening on Saturday), and more than $71,000 went to advertising in newspapers and radio stations, including a list of people with arrest warrants published last month in the El Paso Times and Diario de El Paso.
Some of the people were on the list for traffic warrants from citations nearly two decades old.
"We had people call (about tickets) from 1995, '96, and thinking, 'I thought I had taken care of that,' " Worrell said.
Daniel Borunda may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 546-6102. Follow him on Twitter @BorundaDaniel
How to pay
To find out whether you have warrants:
-- Visit any El Paso Municipal Court location.
-- Call 546-2901 or click on the amnesty link online at elpasotexas.gov
-- Online at elpasotexas.gov
-- By mail: Municipal Courts, 810 E. Overland, El Paso, TX 79901.
-- In person at any of the five municipal court locations:
-- Main office: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 810 E. Overland.
-- Northeast: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 9600 Dyer.
-- Pebble Hills (inside police station): 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 10780-A Pebble Hills.
-- West Side (inside police station), 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 4801 Osborne.
-- Mission Valley (inside police station): 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 9011 Escobar.
-- All locations will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.
___ (c)2013 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas) Visit the El Paso Times (El
Paso, Texas) at www.elpasotimes.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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