Ithaca, N.Y. — Drivers with five or more unpaid parking tickets dating back to 2000 will have their vehicles “immobilized” by the wheel clamp known as “the boot” unless they pay their bills, a statement from the city said Monday.

Ithaca sent out 750 letters to people who met this category last week, according to City Clerk Julie Holcomb. Vehicle booting will start on Monday, October 27.

It’s part of an effort from the city to collect about $1.5 million in outstanding parking tickets, Holcomb’s statement said.

“The majority of the cost of maintaining and enforcing our parking systems and facilities is being borne by City of Ithaca taxpayers, whether they park at the meters or in the garages or not,” Ithaca Parking Director Frank Nagy said in the statement.

“Having a system in place that allows the City to collect parking fines from people who have received multiple tickets in a timely manner helps to shift some of that burden to the users of those parking systems.”

Holcomb said: “Owners will be required to pay outstanding parking tickets before the vehicle will be released.”

There’s also a $50 fee to have the boot removed.

“We’re spreading the word as widely as possible to let people know that it is more cost effective to address any outstanding parking tickets now rather than risk being booted and having those fees compounded,” Nagy said in a press release.

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Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.