The city of Bryan is owed more than a million dollars from people who have not paid fines like traffic tickets, and that number is expected to rise significantly in the next few months.
"We see an increase during football season because of an influx of folks that come into the community. Sometimes folks come in Thursday night and by the time they leave Sunday, they have managed to get a citation, and then leave town,” said Hilda Cuthbertson, the Bryan Municipal Court Administrator.
In a couple of months, when football season starts, the court expects to see an increase in the amount of tickets given, for traffic violations to public intoxication.
That means more fines will go unpaid.
From 2006 to today, the city says more than $6,000 people haven't paid their ticket. That totals to more than $2 million dollars the city has yet to see.
For four years the city has used a collection agency to track people down that aren't necessarily in town.
"We have a lot of transient folks in the community,” said Cuthbertson.
She says the longer you wait, the more expensive the fine.
For example, say a ticket is $100 and it is overdue. You would have to pay an additional $50 for court costs and then the collection agency would require an additional 30% of the ticket. You would end up paying $180.
"Once we get to a certain point in a timeline, we can issue a warrant. Once we issue a warrant, fees can start accruing that are available through the statutes,” said Cuthbertson.
Tonight the city council voted to enter into a contract with a collection agency at no cost to the city. Instead, the offender is responsible for paying 30% of their ticket amount to the agency.
Call the municipal court for more information at 209-5400.