Gurnee makes another 3-year red-light camera contract
Gurnee trustees have approved another contract with a red-light camera company, which won't cost the village more than it receives in fines.
Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. received a second, three-year deal with Gurnee that starts in July. Under the contract, Redflex will receive a minimum of $432,000 annually for its cameras on the east- and westbound sides of four intersections.
Pending the Lake County Division of Transportation's approval, Gurnee will install red-light cameras on east- and westbound Washington Street at Hunt Club Road this year. Redflex would get an extra $10,000 per month for covering both directions of Washington at Hunt Club.
Village Administrator Patrick Muetz stressed a contract provision states Gurnee never will be required to pay Redflex more than what's received in photo enforcement fines.
Trustees voted 4-2 this week in favor of the new deal with Redflex, which has an opportunity for two-year extensions in 2015 and 2017. Trustees Kirk Morris and Greg Garner voted against the Redflex contract.
Garner ran for re-election on the Repeal Red Light Cameras political slate in 2011.
Police Chief Kevin Woodside has been bullish on Gurnee's photo enforcement, saying transparency, integrity and customer service have been hallmarks of the program since it started in July 2009.
"The red-light camera enforcement system remains the safest and most sensible method to enforce red-light violations at high-volume traffic intersections," Woodside wrote in a memo supporting the Redflex contract. "We strongly believe that the current systems in place have been beneficial to the safety of the motoring public."
Photo-enforcement tickets carry a $100 fine but are not considered moving violations. Vehicle owners, not drivers, are cited and have a chance to appeal before a hearing officer hired by the village, retired Lake County Circuit Judge Henry Tonigan III.
Tonigan received nearly $40,500 to hear Gurnee's red-light camera ticket disputes from 2009 through 2011, village records show. The village anticipates paying 20 percent above a budgeted $11,000 for Tonigan over the next year if cameras are installed at Washington and Hunt Club.
Gurnee's annual red-light camera revenue declined since the village netted about $1 million in 2010.
Photo-enforcement fine revenue plunged to $564,000 after expenses in 2011 and is projected to dip to roughly $500,000 this year and in 2013.