In a crash? You’ll pay the cash

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.
Andy Ouriel
May 27, 2014

 

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”

Comments

holysee

No one causes crashes. God is micromanager supreme and she makes all things happen including "accidents".

jmgthatsme

This is a BAD program for sandusky and huron residents. I have a friends daughter whose foot slipped off the break and bumped into a car in front of her. It did ZERO damage but the person driving was a new driver and insisted on calling the police. Police and fire came. She did not get a ticket (b/c no damage i guess) but received a bill in the mail for $360 to pay for the police and fire department who showed up. Gave it to their insurance company...who did not even know about the accident..and now their rate went up. This program stinks! What do we pay taxes for...for policy and fire. Just b/c someone has an accident in a "different township" is not a reason why we should have to pay that township for their services.

GoBigLex2001

Was the driver injured? Either way, I would have called the police also. Leave more distance and pay attention. "Slipped off the brake" my butt..lol

jmgthatsme

No damage..no injuries. They got a bill for 2 cop cars a fire truck who did nothing but stop and observe.

ladydye_5

I would call the police too. Are you suggesting a "hit and run"? As a new driver they did the right thing. WoW. As a "veteran" driver you should know better. Are you a mechanic? Do KNOW there was no damage under the vehicle? I wonder why there was no ticket either, assured cleared distance? Anyone hits my car, I call the police too. New driver, old driver, damage, no damage. I can only hope that you JMGTHATSME it is NEVER YOU.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

WoW. You prove yourself to be a vengeful shrew with each new post…

richrs

I look at it this way. You use our services you pay for that. My question is why isn't other communities doing the same thing/

jmgthatsme

yes, lots of places have tried it...including huron, but most..including Huron, end up doing away with the program. Most insurance companies deny payment.

KnuckleDragger

Well don't count on collecting this for long. There is already a bill that has cosponsors on both sides of the aisle in the Ohio legislature to ban this practice for police departments on any crash where the damage exceeds $400, which is the only crash where they are required to respond. In the event that someone insists on a police presence for a crash under this amount, the party requesting service would be the only one that can be billed.

tk

Practically all shopping is done in Perkins Township, so if you shop there you are paying taxes there.

Perkins Resident

I shop outside of Erie County all together since Bill Monoghan decided to raise the sales tax and I'm not alone.

worddrow811

how are you saving money if you drive to a surrounding county?

Perkins Resident

I'm in surrounding Counties most weekends and that's when I will do my shopping. I don't shop every day. Add the 1% up over a year and it's worth it.

Ralph J.

Doesn't Perkins get a share of county taxes? Insurance companies should get the bill since police have to investigate accidents, take photos and write up accident reports. How about charging fees for accidents to those who live outside of Erie County?

tk

Why should you have to pay more for the police to do the job they are already being paid to do?

AJ Oliver

Perkins Richr wrote, "I look at it this way. You use our services you pay for that." Sounds like a plan - I think Sandusky should charge Perkins folks to have access to Sandusky Bay. After all, it costs Sandtowners a lot to maintain the shore infrastructure and parks. And, oh yeah, Perkins should also not get any discounts on Sandusky water.

ohioengineer

This program and the philosophy behind it has merit. We can all agree that taxes are too high and yet governments are simultaneously claiming they don't have enough money to provide services. So why not use our taxes to provide a basic infrastructure and then "sell" these government services to the user. Therefore, the person who "uses" the services the most would pay the most, while those who don't would pay less.

We already do this is many areas - zoning fees, license fees, the Turnpike - so this is just a logical extension of what we already have. There would be limitations; for example, I think we can all agree that emergency police and fire services should be exempt. But if you are a careful driver and haven't had a car accident in 20 years, why should you pay for the person who has had several DUI's and is still causing accidents?

jmgthatsme

The program has merit... really? So how many of these insurance companies actually paying these questionable bills ?So after someone has an accident..a stressful enough time... now they have to worry about being sent to collections for an unwarranted bill. Shame on you Perkins!!!

Darwin's choice

Yeah, this sounds as good as obamacare....

Truth or Dare

Extortion; The practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats.

jmgthatsme

Hey Andy Ouriel, can you ask another question about this program...or can anyone give us an answer...If Perkins (or the company collecting for Perkins) sends out a bill, and the driver's insurance company doesn't pay it, and the driver doesn't pay it, would this "unpaid bill" go against the drivers credit and lower their credit score, thus causing them to not qualify for a loan?

Hopperthe2nd

The article states they bill the "at fault driver", well if the young lady mentioned later in the comments received a bill but no ticket was written how do you determine the at fault driver?

jmgthatsme

Sometimes one can be at fault in an accident but not be sighted for the accident. I went into a ditch once on a snowy night and the cop helped me out and didn't sight me. Glad it didn't happen now or I would of go a $650 bill in the mail.

jmgthatsme

There are many times a driver is "at fault" but a police officer may not give a citation. Years ago, I slid into a ditch on a snowy night. Two police officers stopped and helped get me out. I could of got a ticket for "falure to control"...but they didn't give me one. If that happened today, I would of received a $650 bill in the mail...just wrong!