Is Lacey’s red light camera a white elephant?

Is Lacey’s red light camera a white elephant?

November 11th, 2010 by Ken

Tim Eyman, known for his anti-tax initiatives, had another win on his record this past election.

In the City of Mukilteo, where he lives, Eyman ran a city initiative to ban red light cameras within the city.  It passed by more than 70 percent.  Now Eyman has suggested that he might do the same thing on a state wide basis.

That would mean bad news for the City of Lacey.

In a one-year period, from October 2009 to October 2010, the city made a profit of $416,000 from just one red light camera.

Lacey took in $682,000 from the camera at Sleater Kinney and Pacific Avenue.  It paid out $255,000 to the camera’s owner and operator in Dallas, and charged another $11,000 in costs for the time it took a city official to review each violation.

The money is put into a dedicated fund that can only be used for pedestrian safety, infrastructure improvements or to pay for the cost of operation.

The city just signed a three year renewal with the Texas company, however, violations have declined nearly by half, from 300 a month a year ago to 150 a month currently.

The city may have to tap into the dedicated fund to continue paying for camera monitoring service.

If  Eyman’s  initiative goes statewide, Lacey could be stuck with a white elephant that it has to pay for over the next three years.

Visit www.KenBalsley.com for Ken’s background and many more articles.

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