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ST. LOUIS (CN) - Hundreds of payments for city parking violations could be lost in the mail due to "an administrative oversight." Postal workers closed the St. Louis Parking Violations Bureau P.O. box after the city missed a $53 lease payment. The P.O. box was closed from Feb. 19 to March 12.

Payments sent during those 3 weeks were returned or, if they had no return address, rerouted to a dead-letter office in St. Paul, Minn. So some parking violators won't know for weeks if their payment was received. The city said 500 to 800 people may be affected.

St. Louis parking tickets range from $10 to $75 depending on the violation. They usually double if they not paid within 15 days and triple if the payment is 45 days past due.

Steve Baker, director of planning and support services for the city treasurer's office, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that people caught in the mix-up will not have to pay late fees.

Dallas-based Allied Computer Services, a city contractor, was supposed to pay for the P.O. box. It called the lapse "an administrative oversight" in a written statement.

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