Traffic cameras helped a southwest Ohio village speed up its spending before a judge’s order against cameras.
New Miami bought new cars, trucks and equipment before a Butler County judge’s February order to shut off speed cameras. The Middletown-Hamilton Journal-News reports village spending from its general fund increased by $430,000 in 2013. That was the only full year the cameras were in use.
Some $210,000 went to vehicles, including two 2013 Dodge Chargers and a 2013 Dodge Ram for police, and a new snow plow and Ford truck for the street department.
Common Pleas Judge Michael Sage ruled in favor of motorists who charged that the cameras violated their constitutional rights to due process. He held off on ruling on whether the village would have to refund fines totaling well over $1 million.
The newspaper said village officials declined to say whether they had enough money to pay back motorists if ordered to, but that village documents showed the village had a cash balance of $1.68 million as of March 31.
An outgoing councilman said the village of 2,200 people got a revenue boost for the first time in years, allowing it to make longoverdue upgrades. Paul Stidham said there was no prospect of increasing revenues through property tax increases.