A technical snafu during the transition of power with Harrisburg's parking systems caused many late December parking fines to be issued as "unpaid" recently.
Sitting in several mailboxes are notices from Standard Parking (SP+) notifying people have unpaid parking tickets stemming from December. Those in fear of this looming debt prompted some to pay the ticket, in most cases for a second time. Others who are aware they already paid the fine are wondering why they must pay again and be charged late fees.
One of those people who were issued an unpaid notice is Harrisburg City Treasurer John Campbell.
"Personally, I got a notice saying I had parking tickets that were unpaid, which is concerning to me," he said.
Campbell is perplexed because he knew he already paid the ticket for one. Secondly, his office was in charge of receiving payment of ticket fines when the Harrisburg Parking Authority managed the city's parking system.
Turns out, Campbell and SP+ attribute the mistake to a snag in the data transfer. SP+ Regional Manager Jon Kemp explained in an email that when the company took over the city system, a data file transfer began taking place on December 18th. During a time period of two weeks around transfer, many tickets that were issued and paid to the City did not register as such on SP+ records.
As SP+ continues to sort out the transition, they recently began looking at prior delinquent parking tickets to seek revenue. Many of those December fines fell through the cracks and unpaid notices were recently issued to violators who already paid.
"Part of this is the lag in transition," said Campbell. "We're hoping that this is a one-time issue that doesn't occur in the future."
This appeared to be an honest mistake, one that both the City Treasurer's Office and SP+ are working to correct. Both sides said they have IT gurus working on updating the records and comprising a list of those impacted by the transfer snag.
In an email, Kemp stated the following.
"[SP+] are not sending anyone to court, and we are wiping any violation from our system from someone who reaches out, indicating payment to the City."
Kemp also stated SP+ would issue a refund if anyone paid the same fine twice with proof of the December payment. Campbell noted he is working with people to help them obtain proof of payment if they are without.
"We are receiving a lot of call volume right now pertaining to this issue," Campbell said. "So, just be patient."