August ticket-getters in Mulvane will be able to cover a portion of their fines by donating school supplies.
Public Safety Director Gordon Fell proposed the supplies-for-fines program after reading of a similar effort by the Shawnee Municipal Court. Mulvane council members approved it at their Aug. 5 meeting.
“Not only does it help on the fines they owe but it also helps parents [and] students in the community,” Fell said in a memo to the council.
The program only applies to fines handled by the Mulvane Municipal Court, which are mostly traffic-related citations like speeding, expired licenses and plates, and no proof-of-insurance.
To participate, defendants must bring new school supplies still in the package, along with proof-of-purchase and a dollar amount. The court will then give a credit toward their fine worth double the amount spent on school supplies, with a maximum $40 credit for $20 in supplies.
Defendants can only take advantage of the program once.
The council requested the list of eligible school supplies match the USD 263 supply lists, which vary based on grade level and course, according to unapproved minutes from the meeting.
Fell said it’s difficult to estimate potential financial impacts of the supplies-for-fines program.
“The amount that the city would ‘lose’ is unknown due to the fact that we would not know how many people would participate in the program,” Fell said in his memo.
Ninety-nine people paid fines in August 2018. If the same amount of people pay fines this August and all participate in the program, Fell estimates the maximum loss for the city would be $3,960.
“If half participated, it would be $1,980,” he said.
Council members requested the results of the program after unanimously approving it.