SIKESTON -- Despite a citizen's suggestion, the city won't be adding automated red-light camera/ticketing systems any time soon.
Mayor Mike Marshall said during the regular Sikeston City Council meeting Monday that a city resident told him she was seeing a lot of motorists running red lights. Marshall said she suggested the city look into putting in an automated red-light camera systems to ticket red-light offenders.
DPS Director Drew Juden said cities that have put in red-light cameras typically have a third-party vendor install and monitor the system. As the vendor takes a percentage of the fines issued by the system, there is no cost for the city.
Red-light camera systems are, however, "very controversial," Juden added.
DPS has had a citywide remote camera surveillance system in place since November 2005 to watch for other crimes but not to ticket motorists for running red lights.
"To date, we have not used and have no intention of using them for that," Juden said.
He said Sikeston hasn't really had very many serious accidents at intersections from motorists running red lights.
Juden said if the city started seeing an increase, however, he would suggest taking some action that would be "more beneficial and a lot less controversial" than automated red-light cameras.
In other business Monday:
* A bill transferring lot 8 of Block 7 Fair Ground Addition to the Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority was approved.
With the transfer of this 40-foot wide lot in the middle of the west side of Felker between North Street and Osage, the LCRA now owns that entire side of the street on that block. The LCRA also owns most of the east side of that block and is negotiating for the last couple of properties on that block with Felker addresses.
Being just south of the old Compress building site, "that is going to be the cornerstone of some redevelopment in the near future," said Trey Hardy, community redevelopment coordinator for the city.
* A Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal years 2010-2014 was accepted by the Council.
"This is a document that historically staff has put together during the budget preparation," said City Manager Doug Friend.
While submission of the plan at this time is now required by the City Charter, no formal Council action was required Monday. Appropriation of funds is made during the budget approval process that takes place in June.
As the Capital Improvement Plan is used as a planning tool during annual budget preparation, Friend predicted "a lot of fine tuning that will take place with this document" as the budget is prepared.
* Council members approved a bill calling for the April 7 general election.
During the election, voters will decide the race for mayor between council members Mike Bohannon and Jerry Pullen.
There are also two uncontested bids for Council seats with Tom Hedrick filed in Ward 2 and Kathy Teachout in Ward 3.
The incumbents for all three positions are not eligible to run for another consecutive term due to term limit provisions in the City Charter.