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Huntington's parking ticket amnesty pays off

Frank Petrone, a Democrat, is supervisor of the

Frank Petrone, a Democrat, is supervisor of the Town of Huntington. (July 7, 2009) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

More than half of the people with outstanding parking tickets from Huntington Town either paid their bills or had their tickets dismissed, after the town offered an amnesty program in April.

Scofflaws were allowed to settle accounts at a 40 percent discount of what they owed the town in fines and penalties.

"I am encouraged by the results, which demonstrated that when given the chance to clear their books and their consciences, a majority of those affected responded," Supervisor Frank Petrone said in a statement this week. Other Long Island municipalities either have held or are in the middle of amnesty programs. The Town of Brookhaven's program ends Saturday, and it is looking to recoup about $2.7 million. Violators there can resolve tickets similarly.

Huntington hired Fundamental Business Service Inc. of Hempstead to administer its April amnesty program. Fines and penalties associated with 1,531 of the 2,800 license plates with outstanding tickets (54 percent) were either paid at the discounted rate or had their tickets dismissed by providing sufficient proof, according to figures provided by the vendor to the town.

Fundamental Business Service collected $105,729 in fines and penalties; the value of the discount and the dismissed tickets was $133,327, the town said in a statement. Taken together, the two numbers indicated that the amnesty program accounted for 38 percent of about $625,000 in outstanding fines and penalties motorists incurred between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2012, the town said.

Those who did not respond are still responsible for the full amount in fines and penalties, the town said in a statement.

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