Two weeks ago, it sat harmlessly in the fourth position of a modest City Council Consent Agenda. But at tonight's City Council meeting, it has moved up in pole position and onto a more prominent list. The Authorization to renew the agreement with American Traffic Solutions for the Intersection Safety Program is the lead item on the Business Agenda.
In other words, the red light camera program will be discussed, debated, and ultimately voted on at tonight's Apopka City Council meeting.
According to the Agenda Packet provided for the June 21st meeting, the current agreement is set to expire this year unless renewed by Council. The staff of the Apopka Police Department has been in negotiations with ATS and has modified the language in the agreement to enhance the terms and conditions of the services in the best interest of Apopka. ATS, the largest provider of such intersection safety programs in the state, has agreed to the new terms and has provided services adequately and responsively to Apopka’s needs over the last ten years of the agreement. Additionally, the infrastructure for the enforcement services and programmatic business rules between Apopka and ATS are in place. The system is managed in accordance with State Statute and court rules. Highlights of the renewal are:
According to the packet, APD Chief Michael McKinley recommends the City Council vote to renew the agreement between the City and ATS. However, Commissioner Kyle Becker expressed reservations at the previous meeting about the program and continues to have questions leading up to tonight's agenda item.
"For me to make a fact-based decision on this topic, I need to see the data, the trends, and the financial impact of this program," he said in a statement after the June 7th meeting. "If a benefit of the program is a decrease in violations, but crashes are increasing, is there truly a benefit? If violations decrease to the point the program then takes a loss financially, does the safety impact and the potential to reduce crashes then make it worth the investment from a public safety standpoint? These are all questions and conversations that need to take place, not anecdotally, but rather data-driven."
Also on the agenda is the second reading for a temporary moratorium on medical cannabis dispensing in Apopka, six annexations, and three items related to the Apopka Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). There is also a 6 PM meeting of the CRA before the 7 PM City Council meeting.