Photo Radar Changes Get Bumpy Ride
The reduced proceeds from Photo Radar or Automated Speed Enforcement courtesy of changes to the Provincial funding formula hit a bit of speed pump in being accepted at Budget Committee.
In a report on the new funding formula Brian Acker, Director of Financial Services said the City will be receiving a projected reduced $350,000 on annual basis from Photo Radar.
In his report Acker said Photo Radar yields approximately $1.6 million in gross revenues with $900,000 going towards expenses leaving $700,000. Under the new program half of those funds, or $350,000 would go to the City. Under the recently completed pilot program the City would receive all funds above expenses equal to approximately $700,000.
Funds generated by Photo Radar has traditionally gone to traffic safety initiatives.
“(It) $350,000 annually is still a benefit to the City when it comes to traffic safety,” Acker told the Committee.
Councillor Scott McMann asked given the success the cameras have had in reducing collisions and injuries how could the City get more in other school zone areas instead of the present two?
Acker responded Moose Jaw already has three camera locations and other centres in the province, where there might be higher priorities, have none. He did say the City could express an interest in more.
Councillor Brian Swanson spoke out against the cameras funding formula because it takes a large sum of money out of the city.
“We are taking in $1.6 million and $1.25 million goes out of the City right away. That’s a pretty good way to suck a lot of money out of the city,” Councillor Swanson said.
The processing centre in Calgary receives $900,000 and $350,000 or half goes into a fund administered by the Province in other communities to equal the $1.25 million.
He said Photo Radar does prevent speeding but “traffic enforcement with our own officers means all the money stays in Moose Jaw.”
Mayor Frasier Tolmie voiced concerns about funds leaving the city.
“I feel if a pilot project works in our community it should work in all other communities. And for the most part the funds should stay in the City of Moose Jaw,” Mayor Tolmie stated.
Councillor Crystal Froese expressed her disappointment in the funding formula.
“I’m disappointed in how the pie is split up here. It is sort of like we are getting crumbs from the Province...the piece of this pie is tiny for participating in this project,” Councillor Froese stated.
In the end the report was received and filed in a 6 – 1 vote with Councillor Swanson opposed.