Elk Run Heights looking to get speed cameras - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Elk Run Heights looking to get speed cameras

Posted: Updated:
(KWWL) -

Drivers in Elk Run Heights may soon be seeing speed cameras. The Elk Run Heights City Council gave final approval to an ordinance that would allow for the installation of traffic speed cameras, if the city chooses to do so. 

Many in Eastern Iowa are familiar with the speed cameras in large metropolitan cities like Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. This time, speed cameras are coming to an area that is a lot smaller and some people in town are saying the city is jumping the gun. 

The City Council voted 3-2 to pass the final reading and adoption of an ordinance providing for automated traffic enforcement in the city on Tuesday night. 

The motto in Elk Run heights is "Small city friendly. Large city convenient," and like other large cities in Iowa, this one is thinking speed cameras. 

"If it makes the city safer, doesn't cost the taxpayers any money, I can't see why anyone would be against it," said City Councilman Tim Ratchford. 

The proposed speed cameras are for two areas in town. One cameras would go along Lafayette road near City Hall. The other camera is proposed for Gilbertville road near the intersection of Marie avenue. The speed in both areas are 25 miles per hour.

Some in the city say drivers are flying through.

While the city may feel that these speed cameras are necessary in making their town safer, some people in the community disagree saying their town doesn't need these speed cameras.

"I agree that there's an issue, but let's take a few baby steps to try to mitigate this issue before we just jump into something as drastic as speed cameras for a town that doesn't have a stoplight," said Elk Run Heights resident Chris Parker.

The city is looking at a five year contract with Redflex, who would install and maintain the cameras and equipment at no up-front cost to the city.

"Part of the issue I have with it, is we haven't tried some of the other alternatives," said Parker. "A couple speed bumps through town, the speed signs with your speed underneath them. Let's try a couple of things here before we jump into the be-all end-all most drastic measure we can take."

Under the proposed contract, Redflex would initially charge the city $18.25 per paid ticket until the company's $240,000 investment is paid off. Afterward, all remaining revenue will belong to the city.

"My main concern is if these cameras would have to come down," said Parker. "The state of Iowa says these are illegal, or someone comes in and says these are illegal, you have to take them down....are we going to be on hook for the $240,000 with a tax base of 1,000 people?

The Iowa DOT rejected appeals by larger cities such as Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, and Muscatine  to continue operating these cameras. Currently. they are still operating until their next court date. 

The city of Elk Run Heights says their lawyers are in the process of looking at the contract. If the city doesn't feel the contract is in their best interest, they will find another company to go with.

Powered by Frankly