GATLINBURG — The City Commission passed first reading of an ordinance at their meeting Tuesday that raised the fine from $10 to $50 per violation.

City Commissioner Ryan DeSear said city officials didn’t like raising fines, but in this case it was warranted. The $10 fine was in place since at least 1996.

“We don’t like increasing fines on anything I think as a general rule but this is a good one because people were violating city parking areas because it was cheaper to get the ticket than it was to park in our lots throughout the city. This just rectifies that,” DeSear said.

The ordinance changes the municipal code for parking citations to add that the offender may waive his/her right to a judicial hearing by payment of $50 within 10 days of the citation.

Those who do not pay the $50 will appear for a public hearing on the date specified on the citation.

The ordinance would need a second reading for final approval.

In other business, the city formally accepted the $25,000 Tennessee Dog Park Dash Grant award. The city is one of 14 recipients across the state this year.

The Dog Dash organization will be in Gatlinburg at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, to present the check.

Gatlinburg has planned a Dog Park, which will be constructed at Mills Park. The Gatlinburg City Commission approved a contract with FTM Contracting LLC. at its April 20 meeting.

The Dog Park is estimated to be completed in September 2021.