Speeders help raise $80,000+ for Union City
Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 9:05 pm
By: Donna Ryder, Associate Editor
By DONNA RYDER
To date, more than $80,000 has been deposited in Union City’s coffers from fines paid by speeders.
According to officials at City Hall, the first payment to the city from Redflex Traffic Systems, an Arizona-based road safety camera company, for fines paid by violators caught with the city’s two mobile speed violation monitoring systems was about $40,000, while the second was $38,000. That amount has decreased drastically to $6,000 for the last payment.
The mobile speed violation monitoring systems were added to the Union City Police Department’s fleet last year, with the fines beginning in September. The speed enforcement vehicles are part of the traffic light and speed enforcement program offered by Redflex.
The city has also obtained intersection safety cameras from the company. They are located at West Reelfoot Avenue and Everett Boulevard, at East Reelfoot Avenue and Home Street and at East Reelfoot Avenue and Miles Avenue. The warning period for those cameras is now over and fines of $50 will be charged to those who speed through the intersections or run the red lights.
Mayor Terry Hailey addressed the issue Tuesday night at the city’s council meeting.
He asked Police Chief Joe Garner about possible state legislation concerning traffic monitoring systems and the two agreed that Union City is already doing everything which has been considered for enforcement by lawmakers.
Garner said the use of the speed enforcement vehicles has slowed the traffic down tremendously. He said this can especially be noted on Reelfoot Avenue.
Police officials have continually stated that the traffic monitoring systems are in place for public safety and not to make money for the city. Signs alerting motorists of the traffic enforcement cameras are in place and there is certain tolerance of the posted speed for the specially-equipped vehicles. The vehicles also are visible and are not parked near where the speed limit changes.
Offenses caught by the cameras will not go on the offender’s driving record, according to police.
In other business, after the meeting was opened in prayer by city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr., the council:
• Had no recommendations for the Ward 2 seat on the City Beautiful Commission.
• Authorized the mayor to sign an application to request a Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for Small Cities Block Grant for Carey Counseling, contingent upon the attorneys for the city and Carey Counseling working out an agreement.
The city would be not be responsible for any local match for the grant.
Carey Counseling Center Inc. wants to build a new mental health facility on property in the Cloys Industrial Park. The city had previously agreed to sell the eight acres of property at 1409 North Morgan Extended to Carey Counseling for $28,000.
• Set a public hearing for April 5 at 5:30 p.m. to consider a rezone from R-1 to B-1 for property in E.W. Richmond Subdivision which was recently sold to Carpenter Real Estate by the city. City manager Kathy Dillon said the lot is landlocked.
• Received two bids for the lease of about 30 acres at the A.L. Strub Wastewater Treatment Plant for farming. KWB Farms’ bid of $120 per acre was accepted by the city. The only other bid came from Marshall Fennel. It was $101 per acre. The city has been spending money to maintain the property.
• Learned from Ms. Dillon that only $79,056 remains to be paid in the current year’s taxes. The total amount owed for the year was $3,578,137. Of that, $1,892,000 was collected in February. The last day to pay without penalty was Monday.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.2.11