Saugerties police chief Joseph Sinagra insists that his officers will not start cracking down on overtime parking and issuing more moving violations to drivers just to reach revenue projections for such violations in the village’s 2016-17 operating budget. What about his department being asked to generate more revenue for the budget? Sinagra said that nothing would change as far as he’s concerned.
As part of the $2,331,032 spending plan approved by village trustees at their April 18 meeting, officials penciled in a $3000 increase in fines from parking-meter violations and a $2000 increase in fines from the village justice court.
Last year, revenue of $37,000 was generated in parking fines, while this year trustees are hoping to see $40,000 from those who park in the village business district or in metered lots and fail to put a quarter in the machine before cops get there to write a ticket.
Last year the justice court generated $85,000 in fines that went into the village coffers as revenue. They are looking to see that increase to $87,000 this year.
When Sinagra sees a meter that’s run out while he’s on foot patrol, he said he’d continue to drop a quarter in if he has the change. His officers will continue to have discretion to either give a warning or issue a moving-violation ticket when they pull over a motorist for a minor infraction.
“We do not have a quota system,” Sinagra said. “Quotas are illegal.”
Mayor William Murphy added that he did not expect the police to go out of their way to write tickets.
With more tourists coming to the village to shop or attend various events, officials said that activity will just naturally help generate additional tickets.
This year’s budget calls for a tax rate of $6.365 per $1000 of assessed property valuation.
The village board also approved a $1,151,344 water department budget, and $883,158 for the wastewater department.