Tonawanda News

December 18, 2013

City of Tonawanda OKs red-light camera deal

By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The City of Tonawanda Common Council passed a resolution Tuesday night allowing for plans to progress on the installation of red-light traffic cameras at three intersections.

The proposed agreement with Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., will come at no cost to the city, Police Chief William Strassburg said. The program is still subject to state approval, and if it is granted, the council will have to pass another resolution authorizing the use of the cameras.

“The earliest they will be installed is March,” Strassburg said. “It’s not a done deal yet.”

The cameras would be added to the intersections of Niagara and Seymour streets, Delaware and Broad streets and the Twin City Highway and Young Street.

“Those are the intersections we have a hard time patrolling, because there is no where for an officer to watch those lights,” Strassburg said. “That’s where our more serious accidents are.”

A $50 fine would be attached to the license plate and would not add any points to a drivers’ license. If the bill isn’t paid within 30 days, the fine would double. Each month, Redflex — which is responsible for billing, collection and maintenance of the cameras — would keep $4,350 of each camera’s fees.

“Anything above that goes to the city,” Strassburg said.

Those who receive a bill will be able to log in to a website to view a 12-second video of the violation. Tonawanda officers will have the final say on approving each ticket and will be able to dismiss bills for emergency vehicles and other purposes.

Redflex conducted a study at the intersections before agreeing to bring the cameras to the city. The firm found about 200 violations over a course of 12 hours.

Tuesday’s meeting also marked the current council and Mayor Ron Pilozzi’s last meeting. Council President Carleton Zeisz, whose term doesn’t expire until 2015, thanked Pilozzi for his dedication as a mayor and councilman.

“I’ve had the privilege of not only working with him, but calling him my friend,” Zeisz said before giving Pilozzi a plaque to commemorate his 16 years of service.

Pilozzi thanked the residents for their support.

“It has been a great honor to serve this community,” he said. “I’m here to tell you this was a challenging job. You have 15,000 or 16,000 bosses, and it’s an awesome opportunity. I enjoyed it immensely.”

Blake Boyle, who was on the body for 12 years, Tyler Kossow and Richard Slisz also said their goodbyes.

The new city officials, including Mayor-elect Rick Davis, will be sworn in at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in City Hall.

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.