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Red light cameras put on hold
Without a finalized contract from Red Flex, Pickerington council tabled an ordinance that would authorize the company to install red light cameras at three S.R. 256 intersections - Diley Road, Refugee Road and S.R. 204.
At its Jan. 20 meeting, the council approved a first reading, however the members wanted "to see a revised contract before voting on a second reading," Councilman Brian Sauer said.
Mayor Mitch O'Brien said the council should keep the issue on the table until the city can evaluate the effectiveness of the new $250,000 ACS traffic system.
The system uses little cameras to sense traffic at intersections, then changes the stoplights accordingly. Only half the system has been installed; the other half will be wired once the weather breaks, O'Brien said.
"A lot of red light runners are impatient. Others are frustrated when they don't get the arrow when (they think they) should," O'Brien said. "The ACS system may win back the confidence of some people."
Resident Mark Lecuru told the council that its decision to install red-light cameras was "based on faulty facts and intentions."
"Pickerington does not have a red light problem - not that we can prove anyway," Lecuru said. "Some people believe there is a problem (based) on a 'survey' provided by Red Flex - the same company who (stands) to split the revenues with the city."
The cameras are "not a safety tool, but a money grab," Lecuru said.
Columbus resident James Moyer proposed that if the council intends the red-light system as purely a safety measure, then the city should donate any revenue to charity.
In other news, residents must acquire a permit and pay a fee to replace water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, windows, siding and roofs.
According to city manager Tim Hansley, the permit and fees are a new mandate from the state to be implemented by Feb. 9. The city has yet to determine a fee structure or to notify residents.
The council also approved a first reading to annex the city's own swimming pool from Violet Township.
In addition, the council approved the first reading of a zoning change from C-2 to C-3 on nearly six acres at the northeast corner of Milnor and Refugee Roads (across from the Springcreek subdivision). The zoning change was a condition of an annexation agreement.
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