The cost of running the city of Hannibal’s red-light camera program has gone up.
The camera systems located along U.S. 61 (McMaster’s Avenue) do not cost more, but the paperwork and labor associated with the tickets is requiring more time, and thus more money.
The issue stems from the fact the city must now prosecute these tickets as a standard red-light violation, and assess points.
“Unfortunately, this change in enforcement has brought about a change in the way my office must handle things, and has created an unforeseen hardship,” explained City Attorney James Lemon in a memo to the Council. “Specifically, we are now being overwhelmed with requests for additional information, discovery, and amendments on these tickets. Where in the past, we received on average no more than four requests per month in regard to these tickets, we are now receiving 40... This results in additional secretarial time, from answering phone inquiries, to typing letters, and increase the postage and paper and printing costs.”
Additional time is required when trucking companies refuse to provide Lemon with the identity of their drivers caught on camera running a red light.
The Council approved an additional secretarial allowance of $12,000, which Lemon indicated he would use to hire a part-time person to help with the additional red-light camera costs.
Despite the added expense that’s associated with the camera system, Lemon stressed that the red-light program is still a benefit.
Police Chief Lyndell Davis added that since the first red-light camera system went into use at U.S. 61 and Route 168, the number of red-light violations has dropped 50 percent.
“It’s been very successful from that vantage point,” said Davis.
In other business:
• Approval was given a $10,000 contract with Poepping, Stone, Bach & Associates to revise the city’s leachate management plan, produce a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and make improvements to the landfill caps. These actions are being required by the Department of Natural Resources.
• Approval was given a contract amendment with Terracon Consultants to provide additional groundwater monitoring/testing services at 929 Warren Barrett Dr. The contract fee - $9,000 – will be paid entirely by a Community Development Block Grant.
• The Conventions & Visitors Bureau was given the green light to accept a bid of $19,856 from Poage Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Hannibal for the purchase of a 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT.
• The Council approved a contract with Supervised Probation Services, LLC, to provide probation services to the Hannibal Municipal Court. There is no cost to the city as the expense is covered by the individuals using the service.
• A budget workshop was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, and a public hearing on the budget for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 3. The workshop and public hearing will occur in Council Chambers at City Hall.
• The Council OK’d a resolution accepting an enhanced proposal from Nationwide Retirement Solutions regarding the city’s deferred compensation plan.
• Matt Munzlinger of the Board of Public Works outlined water system improvements between the river and water treatment plant in Riverview Park.
• The results of the April 8 municipal election were certified. James Hark (Fifth Ward) and Jamie Locke (Sixth Ward) ran unopposed in their respective wards. They were administered the oath of office.
• A street closure request from the school district, between 6:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, was approved. The closure will coincide with graduation at Porter Stadium.
• The Hannibal Clinic Health Services’ request for a street closure and police escort, from 7 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Aug. 23, was granted. The request was for the Mississippi River Run.
• The Council OK’d allowing city parking lots be used May 23-25 during Twain on Main.
• Street closure was approved from 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 5, to accommodate the Hannibal Regional Hospital Foundation’s Hannibal Cannibal.
• Street closures necessary for the Rotary Club’s Fiesta Del Sol on Saturday, June 21, were approved.
• A proclamation recognizing May as Mental Health Month was read.
• A Traffic Committee recommendation was accepted which will allow a handicap parking spot at 2221 Chestnut.