Puyallup will keep its red-light cameras.
The City Council on Tuesday night approved a five-year extension of the city’s contract with its camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions.
The vote was 4-3, with council members John Hopkins, John Knutsen and Tom Swanson against.
Hopkins said afterward that he supports the program “on balance” because it changes driver behavior. But he wanted to see the city dedicate the net proceeds from its cameras – the money left after vendor and staff costs are covered – to intersection safety projects, starting in 2013.
“My belief is that if this thing is about safety, it shouldn’t be about profits to the city,” Hopkins said.
That idea may be raised when the council begins discussing the 2013 city budget later this year, said Mayor Rick Hansen.
The council’s contract approval Tuesday wasn’t a surprise, even though some members had balked at the proposed extension in March. They asked for a study session to talk in more depth.
During and after that April study session, most of the council’s seven members indicated they were leaning toward continued support of the program.
Puyallup Police Department officials said the cameras are improving safety throughout the city of 37,000 people.
The city has used red-light cameras since 2008. Today, they’re installed at six intersections.
Last year, the city’s cameras brought in an estimated $387,000 in net email@example.com