Parking fines increase, Columbus City Council approves a K-9 for Fire Dept.

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - If you park anywhere in the city of Columbus, the price of parking tickets is on the rise.

The Columbus City Council approved the hike from $20 to $30 at Tuesday's meeting. If the fee is not paid in 10 days, the fine doubles to $60.

The duration of time allotted to park in certain places may also be reduced, but the council says signs will be put up to reflect the changes.

The changes will take effect on February 25.

Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin says this is a chance to utilize the free parking decks in uptown.

Another approved item on the agenda included a K-9 for the fire department. This is a part of an elite program the department was selected to be a part of, where a firefighter will be paired with a dog trained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The K-9 will be capable of sniffing out accelerants and finding possible evidence from an arson scene.

"That team, the animal and the firefighter, can respond to the scene of a possible arson fire and help gather that objective evidence we need to prove our case essentially," Fire Marshal Ricky Shores said.

The Columbus Fire Department will receive the dog and a specialized SUV equipped with a cage for the animal. Shores says the K9 will help reduce man-hours and also deter residents from committing arson in Muscogee County.

The city will also debut the first high-speed charging station for electric cars, allowing the driver to fully charge their car in just 17 minutes. The charging station is on 11th Street and Broadway between Momma Goldbergs and The Social.

The ribbon cutting for the electric charging station will be on February 20 at 10 a.m.

Lastly, the council also approved the modification of the restriction on restaurants in the historic district.

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