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Some on city council hesitant about approving new booting rules for cars



New rules for booting cars in La Crosse is in a bit of a holding pattern for now.

A city council committee this week has forwarded a proposed ordinance for booting and towing to the full city council for a vote with no recommendation.

Some city council members want more info on payment plans under the proposed booting and towing ordinance or want payment information spelled out.  

Others have expressed concerned about how the ordinance would be used.

Assistant police chief, Rob Abraham has tried to soothe fears of police enforcing unpaid parking tickets from many years in the past with the new rules.

“To show you that we are responsible people, that we’re not the traffic boot Nazis that are going to run around and just try to boot everyone,” Abraham told city council members, police will only go back 48 months to enforce with the boot.

That’s still plenty of boots.  Abraham says he identified 382 cars that would be eligible to be booted, owing a total of $242,503.66 in unpaid citations.

Most of those are from Wisconsin.  But 48 are from Minnesota and 23 are from Iowa and Illinois and the city currently has no enforcement authority to collect in those states.

Abraham says, just recently, one car with Minnesota plates was identified as having about $3,000 in unpaid fines.  That person still would be eligible to make payments through the city attorney’s office and have the boot removed under the proposed rules.

Abraham has urged the city council to avoid inserting payment plan language into the ordinance.

“If you desire and demand an ordinance with language that talks about payment plans, I think you’d really have to look at your entire code because nowhere in your code does it talk about payment plans,” he said. 

The proposed rules would allow booting cars with five or more unpaid citations that have gone unpaid for 60 or more days.

A separate ordinance would also allow booting and towing for cars that are unregistered.

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