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Red-light camera fines to fund community grants


Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to designate net revenues from red-light cameras to the community grant fund, at its meeting Thursday, June 24.

“We’re not talking hundreds of thousand of dollars that we’re adding and making available. This is really a smaller amount,” Alderman Jeff Elliott said of the amount of money that would add to the fund.

“So when we’re talking future net revenues, we’re on the smaller end of the scale,” he added.

Town Administrator David Smoak agreed.

“We’ve seen a steady decline in the revenues from the last six months now,” he said.

In addition, when TDOT begins to resurface Kingston Pike from Concord Road to Kohl’s department store this summer, crews may have to dig up and replace the in-ground sensor loops from the cameras.


“So the camera system may be down for a few weeks if that happens,” Smoak said.

The Town had $165,000 budgeted for all grants this fiscal year; Smoak estimated that the red-light camera revenues would have added $19,000 to that fund.

“However, we don’t know. And we haven’t seen that money yet,” Smoak said.

“Every year is going to be a guessing game as to how much it’s going to be,” Mayor Ralph McGill said.

Alderman John Williams asked if Town staff had researched the number of accidents at monitored intersections since the cameras were installed.

Smoak said photo enforcement manager Ben Harkins was working with Knox County Sheriff’s Office to compile that data — but that was proving slightly more difficult than expected.

“It’s a little complicated because Kingston Pike is also a highway, and people call it different things when they have these accident reports,” Smoak said.

“And keep in mind, too, that Kingston Pike is a state route, so sometimes accidents are investigated by the sheriff’s department and sometimes by Highway Patrol. And they don’t combine data,” Town Engineer Darryl Smith said.

“But [Harkins is] getting that information, and looking at past history and also going forward to look at the hopefully reduced number of accidents at those intersections,” Smoak said.

Williams moved to allocate the funds to the community grants pool; Elliott seconded. The motion was unanimously approved with Alderman Bob Markli absent.

The Board did not increase the total amount of grant money — $50,000 — available for request. Those grants already have been approved for the next fiscal year.

The Board also approved a utility easement at the intersection of Turkey Creek Road and Loop Road to First Utility District.

In other business, the Board approved a host of annual maintenance contracts:

• Annual road maintenance to J.G. Mullins Construction Company Inc., based on the lowest unit prices. The total amount of the budget line item is $65,000.

• Installation of pavement markings to Volunteer Highway Supply Company Inc., based on the lowest unit prices. Total amount of the budget line item is $30,000.

• Annual guardrail maintenance to Tennessee Guardrail Inc., based on competitive unit prices. Total amount of the budget line item is $30,000

• Annual signal maintenance to Progression Electric, LLC, the only bidder. Total amount of the budget line item is $28,000.

• HVAC maintenance to Interstate Mechanical Contrac-tors Inc. for a three-year contract price of $26,448.

• Street-sweeping maintenance to Huskey Vac of Kodak for a three-year contract price of $58,200.

 

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