Why the City of Kyle is issuing refunds for more than $12K worth of parking tickets

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KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — The City of Kyle is cutting checks to some of its citizens.

City council member and Mayor Pro Tem Rick Koch says due to an oversight, 220 people were charged too much for their parking tickets over the last two years.

“We’re one of the fastest growing cities in the country and with that comes growing pains,” Koch says.

Parking tickets have been issued at prices set by the state, even though city council members passed an ordinance to lower those prices back in 2017.

“Whatever we did within the code of the parking ordinance didn’t get relayed properly to our ticketing system, to the police department, to the ticket writers,” Koch says.

Records show that one driver, for example, parked too close to a fire hydrant.

That’s a $50 fine.

Instead, they paid $347; nearly seven times the correct amount.

“It was almost as if the ordinance wasn’t in place for two years, even though it was on the books,” Koch says.

The city sent out a letter and check to affected drivers Wednesday.

City officials sent out this letter to drivers today, along with a check. (COURTESY: City of Kyle)

William Widmer has never received a parking ticket from the city but says he appreciates the transparency.

“The fact that they realized that yeah, they were overcharging and kind of owning up to their mistake rather than trying to sweep it under the rug, it’s the right thing to do,” Widmer says.

He says it gives him confidence for any other issues the city might encounter.

“If you can own up to that then maybe you can own up to maybe bigger mistakes that have been made,” Widmer says.

The mistake is costing the city a little over $12,000, but Koch says it’s a necessary remedy.

“Sometimes you see things and you’re like, ‘Dang it, we should’ve had that.’ But it’s not painful when you correct them,” he says.

Mayor Travis Mitchell commended Koch at Tuesday night’s city council meeting for catching and rectifying the ‘glitch.’

“This is a fantastic demonstration by Council Member Koch and this body of showing the community that we mean what we say,” Mitchell said.

The mayor said the move to issue refunds shows council members are holding themselves accountable.

“We’re going to own our mistakes and that we’re going to deliver top-notch service to the residents and I believe that every single person involved in this at a staff level has owned it, has stepped forward, has demonstrated that they are willing to do what is necessary to correct the mistakes, learn from them and make sure that they don’t happen again,” Mitchell said.

Koch says a simple parking violation should cost $30-$40. Anything over that might be a mistake that you can question through court.

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