Hayden Town Council votes to move forward with airport ticket change

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— The Hayden Town Council is moving forward with plans to increase parking fines at Yampa Valley Regional Airport. If passed, the ordinance would increase the rate of parking tickets at the airport from $20 to at least $85.

Airport Manager Dave Ruppel told the Town Council on Thursday that increased ticket prices would serve as a deterrent and help the airport comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations that prohibit vehicles from parking within 300 feet of an airport terminal.

“If we make the ticket prices high enough, hopefully we’ll have less people disobeying the rules,” Ruppel said.

Ruppel said he’s talked with drivers who park illegally in front of the terminal and say they would rather pay a $20 fine than park in designated areas. He said drivers ignore no parking signs and a recorded no parking warning that is played in front of the terminal every 30 seconds.

Town Council member Jim Haskins questioned whether the ticket prices set in the ordinance being drafted by Town Manager David Torgler were high enough to solve the airport’s parking problem.

“If you want to make it a deterrent, make (the tickets) $400 to $500, because this is not a deterrent,” he said, referring to the proposed ticket rates.

Haskins said closing the curb in front of the terminal to vehicles would be the most effective option available, but Ruppel responded that it would not be appropriate to bar drivers from picking up and dropping off passengers at the curb, an option he called a valuable component of the airport’s customer service.

The council will hear a first reading of the ordinance at its next meeting.

Also Thursday, council members discussed whether they should modify Hayden’s existing ordinance for snowmobiles to also allow all-terrain vehicles and other off-highway vehicles to operate on town streets.

Torgler said many of the changes in the proposed ordinance would bring Hayden’s rules for snowmobiles and ATVs in line with an existing ordinance in Craig.

But Haskins said he was concerned the ordinance would open the town up to recreational ATV riding.

“There’s a reason why in most places around the country, they don’t allow (ATVs) to be operated on public roads,” he said.

Hayden Police Department Chief Gordon Booco asked Torgler to develop an ATV ordinance because the town has nothing on the books to help regulate where ATVs can operate.

“We stop the kids and tell them they can’t ride them on the streets and to go home,” he said. “We need a way to enforce these laws because they’re going to ride them whether it’s legal or illegal.”

The council advised Torgler to add a registration and insurance requirement for ATVs to the ordinance, which will be up for a first reading at the council’s next meeting.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email ScottFranz@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

addlip2U 3 years, 4 months ago

Wow...really visitor friendly!
While a parent with a little tike or two and a handful of carry ons, car seat(s) and a stroller need to park for a bit in front of the terminal - you will fine them?

What a deterrent from flying in and out of Steamboat!...and to add on .25% sales tax in Steamboat - NO WAY!

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RPG 3 years, 4 months ago

If the car is unattended then I can see giving a ticket, but if there is a person there loading or unloading the car then I think they should be left alone.

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gettinold 3 years, 4 months ago

RPG Only unattended vechicles are ticketed. Its the people that are "special' that ignore the multiple signs and announcements that are surprised when they get one. free 30 min parking is really close. Park there.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 4 months ago

YVRA does a great job with snow removal and maintaining easy access from the designated parking areas. The area immediately in front of the terminal is limited, to say the least, and very easily congested. I think Mr. Haskins' analysis may be correct: 85 bucks probably won't be much of deterrent for the second home owner visiting from Dallas.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 4 months ago

I suspect many people "violate" the rules not because of bad intent, but because they see a pick up and drop off zone that often has many free spots. So they feel they can step inside and help their passenger without causing any harm to anyone. And then there is some issue so it ends up taking longer and so on.

This is The West and FAA rules designed for major airports that make no sense at our small rural airport are not considered that important by Westerners. Does anyone think there is any actual danger by someone leaving their car and stepping inside? If it really matters that much then do it like major airports and station a tow truck there to immediately tow any unattended vehicles. The inconvenience and cost of recovering a vehicle towed presumably to long term parking would discourage anyone from leaving a vehicle unattended. If the unattended vehicle is viewed as some sort of danger to the airport because it violates some FAA regulations then putting a ticked on the vehicle doesn't solve the problem. The unattended vehicle would need to be moved so there is no longer an unattended vehicle near the terminal.

Considering what Ski Corps thinks it is worth to pay to bring visitors to this area then maybe they should offer a valet or attendants service to solve the problem in a visitor friendly manner. It'd be a real friendly service if someone could drive to pick up and if passenger isn't there then valet would park car while driver went inside and waited

I am not condoning the person that parks there for 30 minutes, but let's not make this a wealthy inconsiderate Texan issue.

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