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"Observed Holiday" parking tickets cause fuss

Posted at 4:52 PM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-03 18:31:20-05

Complaints have rolled in to city hall because some are upset they received parking tickets on January 2, the observed holiday for New Year's Day.

People who parked in Midtown and Downtown Omaha and didn’t plug the meter on Monday received tickets from parking employees if they caught the violation.

The Park Omaha website says meters are not enforced on holidays, but that doesn't include "Observed Holidays."

The Mayor's Hotline and office received about 15 complaints in emails or phone calls from citizens who got parking tickets on January 2.

Jaime Kurtzer, who works in Midtown, says she saw at least 3 or 4 people ticketed yesterday.

"You wouldn't expect to have to pay to park when the city offices are closed, nobody was open yesterday.  It doesn't make much sense, I don't think it's real fair," Kurtzer explained.

The city says it's not a money generator but the funds pay for parking meters and garage maintenance.

"The City Municipal Code identifies ten holidays that parking fees are waived. (Sec. 36-213)  The parking division enforced the code on January 2, which is not one of the ten holidays.  It is always our goal to provide information about all city services and policies, including parking. In this case, the information was posted on the Park Omaha website, Facebook and Twitter and reported by some local media. Unfortunately, some people visiting downtown yesterday were not aware that regular parking rates would be in effect,” Mayor Jean Stothert said in a written statement on Tuesday.

About a year ago the city extended parking meter hours from 9am- 9pm Monday through Saturday.

For more information on Omaha's parking rules visit: https://parkomaha.com/