Elmwood Place Village Police Chief William Peskin sat down exclusively with FOX19 to talk about the village's controversial speed camera program. He argues the survey before the cameras were enforcedFull Story >
Elmwood Place Village Police Chief William Peskin sat down exclusively with FOX19 to talk about the village's controversial speed camera program.Full Story >
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"These cameras are just affecting revenue all over this town." That is according to Holly Calhoun who manages the Elmwood Place Quick Mart. She says business has dropped because people are afraid ofFull Story >
Business in Elmwood Place has dropped because people are afraid of getting speeding tickets while driving through the village.Full Story >
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A restraining order filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on Thursday, asking a judge to stop the operations of the "Robo-cameras" in Elmwood Place.Full Story >
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Residents of Elmwood Place showed up for a council meeting Tuesday night to talk about two things; the speed trap cameras and whether the mayor should resign. The issue of the robotic cameras clockingFull Story >
Residents of Elmwood Place showed up for a council meeting Tuesday night to talk about two things; the speed trap cameras and whether the mayor should resign. Full Story >
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A grant from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs awards more than $8.6 million to 24 counties in Ohio aiming to prevent homelessness. The grant will serve approximately 2,300 homeless and at-risk veteranFull Story >
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ELMWOOD PLACE, OH (FOX19) -
A FOX19 investigation reveals how much money a controversial speed camera program has generated for a local village, and where that money could be headed.
According to Elmwood Place officials, the speed camera program has brought in $470,000 so far. That amount equals nearly half of the village's projected general fund budget for next year.
Optotraffic retains 40 percent of the total profits.
"To us that is a big chunk of money," Jerald Robertson said.
The village's secretary says currently most of the money generated by the speed cameras is sitting in the bank, waiting to be budgeted for 2013.
"I think [council is] going to be prudent and sit on it for a while and really make an educated decision on what to do with the money," Police Chief William Peskin said.
"I think my fellow council people are sensible people," argued Robertson. "I don't think they're going to do anything wild."
The village secretary tells FOX19 $50,000 of the nearly half a million dollars has been put in this year's public safety budget, but no one at the village was able to clarify why the money was reappropriated.
"I'm not sure because nothing's been added to this point to my budget," Peskin told FOX19 following a citation hearing.
"I haven't been given the figures and hopefully by this meeting next Tuesday night those figures will be available," Robertson said.
Robertson wrote up a list of proposed uses for the funds including saving most of it, paying off a significant loan, updating the town hall's heating and air conditioning, and even passing it on to village employees.
"Perhaps give some of our salaries a raise which they haven't had in years," Robertson offered Wednesday.
According to village documents obtained by FOX19, the village mayor makes just under $7,000 a year. The Fire Chief makes $9.50 an hour based on a 2000 ordinance. The village Police Chief makes a $41,600 base salary and has not had a raise since 2006.
Chief Peskin says he would like to see the village purchase two new cruisers with the money, add on another full-time officer since he is currently the only one, and hire three new part-time positions.
While Robertson is in favor of raises, he is not convinced the village needs to take on new employees
"I question the wisdom of that because in two years that money will be gone in salary and we'll be right back where we were," he argued.
Robertson wants to make tangible purchases with the speed camera funds.
"I think to have something positive to show for it," Robertson said. "When we go out and buy equipment we need we can say ‘look there it is'. We have something to show for our money."
"People are not happy that they're going to be giving up their money so no matter how we spend it it's not going to make a difference to them I don't believe," Peskin said.
"These funds can put us in a reasonably decent financial situation for the next few years unless we go out and blow it on a bunch of stuff that we have nothing in hand when the dust settles," Robertson said.
Peskin says these days only about one percent of cars moving through the village are going fast enough to get a ticket, which means the cameras' cash flow could be drying up.
"This is not the never-ending piggy bank that everybody believes it to be," Peskin said.
FOX19 also spoke with council woman Claudia Wiles. Wiles says she would like to see the money help give a facelift to the Vine Street business district and update the local parks, among other investments.
The next village council meeting is slated for next Tuesday night.
Wednesday, August 20 2014 1:35 PM EDT2014-08-20 17:35:47 GMT
Lyndi Trischler has a passion for police work. She became a Florence Police officer in February 2012. Last year, she welcomed her first daughter and a few months later became pregnant with her firstFull Story >
Lyndi Trischler has a passion for police work. That's why she became a Florence Police officer in 2012. Now, she says, she is forced to choose between her job and her family.Full Story >
Thursday, August 21 2014 5:49 AM EDT2014-08-21 09:49:04 GMT
The Madeira man who shot at his wife at their home in Madeira earlier this month could get up to 11 years in prison. Hamilton Prosecutor Joseph Deters announced the indictment of Blake Seylhouwer WednesdayFull Story >
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You may be a hot mess after reading some of these cray new words added to the Oxford Online Dictionary. While some of the new words are pretty amazeballs, others have us scratching our heads. Britain'sFull Story >
Britain's Oxford University Press announced on Thursday that they will be adding new words to its online Oxford Dictionary to reflect new language trends.Full Story >