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      Stillwater doubles parking fines, requires payment in 48 hours

      New rules in Stillwater change the price of parking tickets, and it's the amount of time you have to pay that's catching some by surprise.On a busy street near downtown Stillwater, Joshua Salinas has already gotten two parking tickets today."I came out earlier and there was a ticket, and just came out now and there was another ticket," Salinas said.What was a trip to the insurance agency turned into more than just a chore. "It's flawed. Really flawed. They're just out for revenue." The city's new parking ticket plan sets violations at $10, $20 or $30 depending on what you do wrong. Parking over the line, for example, will cost you $20.But you're on the clock. You have 48 hours to pay for your ticket., or the fine doubles."Some people do live paycheck to paycheck, some people don't just have $20 in their pocket right then," said Ginger Whitaker, who was parking for just a short time.Justin Hudson works a 3-day work schedule, where he works 14-hour days."They're not open before I get there and closed by the time I get home, two days is not enough time," he said.City officials say the plan is designed to keep spaces open and available for customers and it's the first increase since 1999. And they add if you're inside a business and get a ticket, many waive the fine if you're doing legitimate business.Still, the idea irks many downtown who say it's a little too much."A warrant for parking over 90 minutes? Come on now," Salinas said.A parking study was done for the city a few years ago that recommended the increase in fees, but it also recommended making the time to pay at least 5 days. (You can read that study here.)That study goes on to say most cities give folks 7 to 14 days.
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