Put Another Penny In Or Pay The Fine
by Jack Gurner
It’s hard to believe that no one under thirty-something is old enough to remember the downtown parking meters.
Here is the Herald story from 50 years ago, announcing the beginning of their use on Main Street. I haven’t been able to find the exact date they were removed, but it was during the early 1980’s.
Parking Meter Use Begins Thursday
Beginning Thursday morning, Jan 2, 1958 at 8:00 a.m., parking meters will be in use in Water Valley.
Monday and Tuesday, 210 meters were placed on the standards erected a few weeks ago, and, in accordance with an ordinance adopted by the Board of Aldermen at the regular December meeting, all who use the parking spaces at which a meter is located must deposit a penny or more for use of the parking space. Most of the meters, which are of the automatic type, will give 12 minutes of parking time for one cent or one hour for a nickel.
Penalty for over-parking will be 50 cents if the parking ticket is taken to the city clerk within 24 hours of the time it is given. Those receiving tickets and not paying within the specified time will be summoned to appear before the Mayor’s court.
The matter of putting in parking meters has been under consideration since the present Mayor and Board went into office July first. Making their decision to install the meters in October, after the standards were erected during November, the Board decided to wait until January 1 to begin parking enforcement.
Ten years later, in Jan. of 1968, Fire and Police Commissioner Jim McMinn reported to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen that the meters grossed the city $6,966.60 during the previous year.
He also reported that during 1967 the Water Valley Fire Department answered 32 calls in the city and 21 calls outside the city. Of the city calls, eight were house fires, 16 were grass fires and eight were car fires.
Outside the city, nine calls were on houses, 19 were grass fires and three were car fires.
The city fire call expense was $1,088.50 or $34.02 per fire, while the out of city expense was $624.50, or $29.61 per trip. All the costs recited were personnel expense, no cost figures being given for gas, oil, tires, repairs, and depreciation of equipment.
Commissioner McMinn also gave the following report of the Police Department:
Tickets: DWI, 25; Public Drunkenness, 80; No Driver’s License, 38; Reckless Driving, 38; Improper Parking, 56; Running Red Light, 23; Possession of Beer, 11; Murder, 2; Forgery, 2; Speeding, 8; Other, 42; Total, 325.
Total fines levied were $7,718.50, of which $596.50 went for jail fees, leaving a net to the city of $7.122.00.
McMinn reported a total of 24 accidents in the city.