Council moves forward with speed monitoring cameras

Published 3:12 pm Friday, July 8, 2022

Farmville Town Council voted to move forward with speed monitoring devices for the school zone on Griffin Boulevard.

During a scheduled work session on Wednesday, July 6, Police Chief Andy Ellington provided an update on these devices. Last school year, a student was hit by a vehicle and fortunately survived. However, this raised safety concerns with drivers ignoring the speed limit in the school zone.

Ellington found cameras that are set up in school zones where they catch the speed of the vehicle, the camera catches the tag of the vehicle, is hooked to the DMV and generates a summons for the owner. Those captured speeding in the school zone face a civil fine of $100 with no points placed on the driver’s DMV record.

To make sure there is a need, Ellington did a test run on Griffin Boulevard on March 30 and between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. the camera caught 79 violations of 10 mph or above and caught an additional 103 March 31.

“This tells me that yes there is a huge need for this type of device and it can be very beneficial to us,” said Ellington.

According to Ellington, the cost for this project is $5,000 for the two signs notifying the public of the school zone and that there are cameras in place. The camera company will take care of the installation and camera costs as the company gets $25 from each fine.

The proposed area will be from High Street to Edmunds Street on Griffin Boulevard. According to Ellington, he set the minimum at 10 miles per hour, but town officials can opt to fluctuate that number as needed. Times can also be set to only monitor during school times or whatever schedule is needed when it comes to summer school and other factors.

Council approved moving forward with a written ordinance and to set a public hearing to start the process of installing the cameras.

In other business:

• Council continued its discussion on the fee schedule. According to Farmville Town Manager Dr. Scott Davis, the purpose of these fees are to take some of the load off of taxpayers. They would help cover some of the costs such as permits and environmental services. The council plans to look back and see how much money these fees would bring in and possibly remove some that may not be necessary before moving forward with the schedule.

• Council voted to approve resolution  2022-07-01 police vehicle capital lease program. This is to lease the five vehicles for this budget year.

• Council voted to authorize Davis to sign a contract with Labella, the engineering firm for the closed landfill. This is a renewal of the contract with them that was already planned in the fiscal year’s budget.

• Council discussed transferring funds over to a local government pool. Doing this will allow for money the town is not using, such as American Rescue Plan Act funds, to receive higher interest and make more money while waiting to be used.

• Council discussed making amendments to the utility adjustment policy. These adjustments to the policy will make the process cleaner. Changes include being able to make one adjustment for a problem that is more than one billing cycle and sets a minimum to what can be adjusted to 150% of the bill. Davis will prepare a resolution to bring to the regular meeting.

• Council discussed the changes to the zoning ordinance. Amendments include amending maximum heights for various structures and temporary signs. A public hearing is set for August.

• Council voted to amend ordinance No. 195 that set reimbursements for sewer and water taps when COVID-19 began. A public hearing is to be held concerning the issue.