Feuding Over Fines

By: Natalie Swaby
By: Natalie Swaby

The city of Madison is waiting to collect on more than $80,000 in fines from Mifflin Street partiers. More than a week ago, 20,000 people packed the two blocks for the annual bash. Now, a handful of students might have to pay the price.

"This is the disorderly conduct for $412, this one is the noise violation for $164," reads Travis Blom as he looks over a handful of pink slips. It's obvious the house party he and his roommates hosted during the annual Mifflin Street bash is going to cost them.

"A little less than $9,000," sums up roommate Greg Orciuch.

Blom adds, "They gave us distributing without a license, then they gave us another noise violation, and then we had two minors in our backyard."

We canvassed the neighborhood looking for other fined party-throwers, and found the house at 454 W. Mifflin Street is facing $10,380 in fines, just a few doors down officers handed over tickets for more than $14,620 to the people at 444 W. Mifflin, and on the corner at 450 W. Mifflin they owe $19,320.

One renter with a $10,000 fine is in shock.

"The most I could afford is a hundred bucks a month on a payment plan, but for $10,000 I'll be like mid 30's before I pay it off."

Fliers posted on doors are encouraging neighbors to get together and fight the fines, but Madison police say residents up and down Mifflin Street had fair warning.

"There is some of that woe is me from the students," says Officer Mike Hanson of the Madison Police Department. "The issue is first of all, they were warned well in advance, second of all, there can't be a lot of sympathy for these students when they charge $5 a cup and have 300 people in their house, and then charge three dollars for shots."

According to the Madison police department, officers went door to door prior to this street party, warning about costly fines. Now renters are trying to figure out how they will pay them.

"I am trying to more focus on finals right now and then deal with it when our court date comes up," tells Blom.

Orciuch says, "I told my dad, he told me to get another job."

Many residents NBC 15 spoke to are planning to fight the fines in court, as well as attend a neighborhood meeting on Wednesday night.

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