KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Kinston city officials discussed multiple topics to make note of during Tuesday night’s council meeting as some changes are coming to the city.

The first agenda item that was voted on and passed was a proposal to increase parking fines in Kinston from just over $2 to $25. While there haven’t been major problems in parking, Kinston Police Department officials want to make sure people are parking where and how they’re supposed to be.

This includes not parking where traffic will be congested which would block emergency personnel’s ability to respond. The parking fine change will be citywide and will be monitored by relying on citizens and patrol officers.

The change is expected to be established in the next budget year, which is the first of July. The amount of time between now and the changes will also give residents and visitors time to be notified of the changes.

“I’ve been here for 23 years, and we’ve had this … we’ve had the same $2 fund, really, since the 80s, in the 60s, and before that,” said Kinston Police Chief, Keith Goyette. “So it was just time to catch up with the other municipalities around us, so I’m very excited.”

Goyette said in regard to parking, the money from fines will not be going to the police department but will be put towards the City of Kinston general funds.

(Abigail Velez, WNCT video)

WNCT has also been closely following an ongoing issue around stray animals and other animals needing immediate help in Kinston. Goyette said right now, if someone needs help with an animal or strays that could be vicious, citizens are depending on one officer within the police department to control the situation.

Goyette proposed a consolidation of animal control services with Lenoir County. This would provide help and more resources as he said the police department receives up to 10 calls per day for animal patrol.

Working with the animal control services would allow workers who specialize in how to handle animal reports and calls to be on standby rather than one officer from the police department.

“As a police organization, we’re obviously going to assist animal control whenever we can,” Goyette said. “And depending on the situation, you know, any given moment where we can respond within 30 seconds, we’re going to help them and we’re going to put this together as a team.”

As far as the next course of action for Lenoir County animal control, there’s going to be further discussion by Kinston’s city council before anything is decided.