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In a crash? You’ll pay the cash

Andy Ouriel • Jun 2, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Those traveling to or from Cedar Point down Milan Road beware: Out-of-town drivers causing crashes in Perkins Township might notice a new bill parked in their mailboxes.

Such as the case in Huron, where a Bald Eagle Drive resident recently received a $300 bill after causing a crash in Perkins Township.

The reader alerted the Register about the bill and asked for an explanation as to why he needed to shell out $300 for Perkins police services when he never had to before.    

Through past reporting and new insight from Perkins police Chief Ken Klamar, here are some major points about the township’s crash-cash program:

Q: What is this program?

A: About a year ago, township trustees voted 3-0 to enter into an agreement with Ohio-based Cost Recovery Corp. The company represents agencies and governments by providing rebates for officers handling crashes. The company does this by billing at-fault drivers responsible for collisions or damage to public property.

Except for township residents, any at-fault driver gets a bill. Township residents already pay for policing services.

“We don’t want to double-bill them” Klamar said. “This is an effort to recover some of this taxpayer money that is spent investigating accidents involving non-township residents. Furthermore, an individual would only receive a bill if they have no insurance at the time of the accident or their insurance company declined to pay the bill”

Q: Why is Perkins police billing people?

A: The rebate will fund costs for police cruiser repairs and vehicle replacements.

At about $2 million a year, the police budget is tight. The department delays vehicle upkeep as much as possible. The new funds will help accelerate necessary repairs and replacements.

Q: How much money has the program collected thus far?

A: The company collects about 28 percent of all fees generated, with the remaining going to Perkins police. Before signing the contract, township officials said the administrative fee wouldn’t top 10 percent.

In total, the amount Cost Recovery has billed out equals about $20,800. To date, Perkins officials have obtained almost $14,900 in funds with Cost Recovery receiving $5,900.

The largest individual bill totaled about $650.

“After crash reports are filed, details of the report are sent to Cost Recovery that include parties involved, insurance companies, responding personnel, responding vehicles and time spent by each” Klamar said. “Cost Recovery then tabulates the bill and takes it from there”

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