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.

DGMutley

I agree! It's outrageous!

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

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

DGMutley

There is no "hit and run" here if the parties decided not to call the police. The threshold for property damage in an accident is $1000 in Ohio. Less than that it doesn't have to be reported.

There were no injuries. The only requirement in the ORC is that the drivers exchange name, address, and owner of the vehicles.

BTW, according to the BVM site since there was a police report made on this accident the accident is listed on BOTH parties driving records. Nevermind there was no damage or who was at fault.

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.

DGMutley

richrs,

$360 for a "no damage" accident? What is the justification for those charges.

What about all the folks who commute to Perkins to work? They work and spend their money in Perkins and get hit with a fee of $360 for an accident that wasn't even a fender bender?

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.

DGMutley

Welcome to Vacationland! Perkins Twp wants to make it a memory you will never forget!

There isn't anything worse than having an accident while visiting an area or having your car breakdown. Especially when you have your family with you.

Perkins depends on visitors just as Sandusky depends on visitors. Spending in Perkins Township isn't enough to get a free pass if you have the misfortune of getting in an accident?

Where is your thinking at Perkins Township?

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?

DGMutley

The answer is yes if the Cost Recovery Corporation puts it on the person's credit report.

This is really a black mark for Perkins Township public relations. I would imagine all businesses and service industries in Perkins Township will take a very dim view of this ordinance.

jmgthatsme

I truly hope u r wrong about that. How can I be sent to collections for services which are paid for with our tax dollars...

DGMutley

You're between a rock and a hard place. You can not pay the charge if you want and if it shows up on your credit report you can dispute it(actively seek to remove it). The problem is that you can't dispute it because the bill is backed up by the ordinance.

There is no recourse. It's like disagreeing with a bank charge: If you don't pay it you get black-balled from opening up an account at ANY bank.

Traffic light camera tickets work the same way--don't pay it; it goes on the credit report.

DGMutley

Here is the ordinance:

Resolution 2013-79
ESTABLISHING AND IMPLEMENTING A
PROGRAM CHARGING USER FEES FOR THE DELIVERY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT SERVICES FOR MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES, PROVIDED BY THE PERKINS TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT

WHEREAS, Emergency law enforcement service run activity to
vehicular crashes continues to increase each year; new Home Security regulations, etc., create increased demands on all operational areas of law enforcement services; and,

WHEREAS, the Police Department has investigated different methods
to maintain a high level of quality of Police Department emergency services throughout times of constantly increasing service demands, where maintaining an effective response by the Police Department decreases the insurance companies costs by saving lives and minimizing vehicular damage by fire; and,

WHEREAS, raising the real property tax to meet the increase in service demands would not be fair to the property owners, when a majority of the motor vehicle crashes are caused by individuals not owning property or paying property taxes in the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency; and the ability of law enforcement to effectively respond decreases the liability of the insurance companies by saving lives and minimizing vehicular damage by fire;
and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees desires to implement a fair and
equitable procedure by which to collect said MVA fees from insurance companies and non-tax payers and shall establish a billing system in accordance with State and Federal laws, regulations and guidelines.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Perkins Township Board of
Trustees that:

SECTION 1. Perkins Township shall initiate a user fee for the delivery of emergency law enforcement Services rendered by the Police Department. The rate of the user fee shall be that which is usual, customary and reasonable (UCR) cost for the services, and may fluctuate accordingly.

SECTION 2. The user fees shall be filed to the motor vehicle insurance representing an add-on-cost of the claim for damages of the vehicles, property and/or injuries. The claim costs shall be filed to the insurance coverage of the owner of a vehicle, owner of property, or responsible parties.

SECTION 3. The Board of Trustees or their designees are hereby
authorized to execute any and all documents and/or implement any and all procedures necessary to effectuate the collection of fees in order to enhance services by the Perkins Township Police Department.

Mr. Coleman moved to approve Resolution 2013-79 as presented Mr. Ferrell seconded. Chief Klamar commented that at an earlier meeting the Board had determined to pursue establishing a program where the township could recoup township funds from at-fault drivers living outside Perkins Township who cause crashes, and had requested him to present specific protocol and policies for its approval.

Resolution 2013-79 establishes and implements the program
for the collection of those cost recovery fees. After brief discussion the roll was called with the following vote: Mr. Printy: aye; Mr. Coleman: aye; Mr. Ferrell: aye. Motion carried. (The about resolution is out of numerical sequence.)

Resolution 2013-74
ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH COST RECOVERY CORPORATION
ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION BILLING
This Agreement is made as of June 11, 2013 by and between COST
RECOVERY CORP, LLC, an Ohio Company (CRC”), and Perkins Township
(“Client”).

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?

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