School supply parking ticket donation program starts in Tuscaloosa

Pay for parking tickets with school supplies
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala, (WBRC) - It’s now your chance to receive a little mercy on those unpaid parking tickets in Tuscaloosa if you bring in some school supplies for the local school districts.

As of Monday, only a handful of folks had taken advantage of the program based on what we saw in the supply box, but the woman in charge is certain that box will be filled up before long.

Just inside the Tuscaloosa Municipal Court building, you’ll find the colorful school supply box.

“Considering it’s our first day, we didn’t expect a rush,” said Tuscaloosa city municipal court administrator Marion Williams.

But Marion Williams is certain the rush is on the way based on the 25 phone calls the court received last week from parking ticket holders inquiring about the program.

“Everybody expecting everyone to fly to the stores? No, not on the first day and you’ve got to give them time to get used to it and you know is about to start,” said Williams.

The program got its start back in 2019 after a court employee read something similar happening in another city, in another state. Williams and her team implemented it that year and saw some 200 parking tickets dismissed.

It works like this:

“So, if an individual brings in $10 worth of school supplies, then the parking ticket will be dismissed. If they bring $20 worth of school supplies, then we’ll dismiss two tickets,” she said.

The parking tickets are given to those who overstay their spot after the meter has expired. In terms of school supplies anything and everything will be welcomed, but don’t forget to bring in your store receipt. On this end, Williams and her staff can pull up your parking ticket and being the process of eliminating it based on the amount of supplies you bring.

“Notebook paper, pens, crayons,” she said.

You may wonder whether the city will miss those thousands of dollars of parking ticket fines. Marion Williams says ‘no’ because making money is not the goal. The aim is to help the local school districts.

The donation period ends on August 31.

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