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RV parking ordinance takes effect in Great Falls

RVs parked on street
Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 19:53:33-04

GREAT FALLS — It’s been a few weeks since the City of Great Falls enacted an ordinance banning people from leaving recreational vehicles (RVs) on street sides for more than 72 hours.

Before it was put in place, the Great Falls Police Department anticipated challenges with enforcing it - and the last two weeks have proven that to be the reality of the situation.

Lt. Doug Mahlum says the ordinance is challenging to enforce due to staffing issues but adds the department is working on how to enforce it more efficiently.

“The new ordinance is in place for those vehicles that are being parked and stored and left for a long period of time on city streets. It could be a camper, an RV, it could be a boat. You’re loading them, you’re following the ordinance, we agree with that. We want to support that. But we’re looking for general compliance,” Mahlum said.

The department has received more than 60 complaints since the ordinance went into effect. They have yet to issue a citation for a vehicle or trailer in violation of it, and they say that is partly due to more people coming into compliance with it on their own.

Adrienne Ehrke is the GFPD’s volunteer coordinator and says there about 30 volunteers total, eight of which are assigned to enforce the ordinance. They have had positive feedback in the last few weeks and Ehrke wants to remind everyone this is a new process for the department.

“We’re so grateful for everybody that is coming into compliance whether it’s because we put a sticker on their vehicle or they’re just doing it proactively. We also ask for those that are being affected by these campers and trailers and stuff and have called in complaints, to please be patient with us. It is going to be slow going here until we can get real efficient and work out the kinks in the process. We just ask everybody to be patient with each other,” Ehrke said.

For questions about the ordinance or to report a vehicle/trailer, you can contact the GFPD non-emergency number at 406-727-7688.