A month after declaring war on traffic cameras, Red Bank Mayor Monty Millard said he's unable to zap his city's devices because of expenses.
Reading a prepared statement during Tuesday evening's commission meeting, Millard said the city would be obligated to pay American Traffic Solutions $100,000 to $600,000 to break the contract.
Red Bank used $172,724 from its reserve funds to balance this year's budget without a property tax increase.
"I am not willing to put our taxpayers at risk for even $100,000," Millard said.
The news came a month after Millard asked City Manager Chris Dorsey to "determine our option for the immediate removal of the red-light cameras and the speed van" in Red Bank.
Millard is up for re-election in 2012, a year before Red Bank officially can take down the cameras without a financial penalty, according to the contract.
As he spoke, Commissioner Ruth Jeno smiled. She and Vice Mayor Greg Jones have said they support the cameras for safety.
Millard said he would explore ways to prolong "yellow-light time to reduce the number of tickets issued, and more importantly, reduce the number of rear-end collisions."
In January, Millard was the only commissioner out of five to vote against a 12-year contract extension with American Traffic, the Arizona-based company that supplies Red Bank's traffic cameras.
"I do what the commission wants," Dorsey said. "Taking the cameras down doesn't look reasonable, financially."
Contact Chris Carroll at email@example.com or 423-757-6610.