Monday, October 15, 2018
News Roundup

Kenneth City council votes to get rid of red-light cameras

KENNETH CITY — This town was the first in Pinellas to install red-light cameras. Now it's following the crowd in getting rid of them.

Council members recently voted unanimously to allow its contract with American Traffic Solutions to lapse. The vote means the seven cameras — some on 54th Avenue N and 66th Street, two of the busiest roadways in the county — will go dark Sept. 22.

"It's a wonderful thing," Kenneth City business owner Phil Dean said of the decision. "I'm very pleased that they're gone."

Dean, owner of Phil Dean's Auto Detailing and Car Wash, 6170 54th Ave. N, has been in Kenneth City for 14 years. Dean said he and other businesses along 54th had a noticeable drop in business after the cameras went in.

Kenneth City already had the "cloud over us" of being known as a speed trap, he said. The cameras added to that whammy. Not only did customers complain, Dean said, "it was getting to the point I didn't want to be here."

But it was more than business complaints that factored into the decision, Town Manager Matt Campbell said.

The town was literally in the red when it came to income from the cameras. In the past six months of the 2013-14 fiscal year, the town saw monthly losses that ranged from about $2,662 to $7,447, according to Kenneth City records. And, in the first three months of the current fiscal year, losses ranged from $3,994 to $11,789 for a total of about $24,508.

The red ink was caused by several factors, Campbell said, most of which stemmed from the fact that Kenneth City was the first in 2009 to decide to install red-light cameras. It did not protect the town against monthly losses. So, when revenues dropped as drivers learned to be cautious or avoid the area, there was not enough ticket revenue to cover the amount that went to the state each month and the monthly fee to ATS for providing the seven cameras.

Campbell conceded that there was another downside to having seven cameras in a town of 1 square mile: bad public relations, particularly for a town that's struggling to improve its image.

"It's somewhat of a black eye on the image of the town," Campbell said.

In deciding to rid itself of the cameras, Kenneth City joins other Tampa Bay municipalities, such as St. Petersburg and Brooksville. St. Petersburg killed its red-light program last year. Brooksville voted to end its this month.

Contact Anne Lindberg at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450. Follow @alindbergtimes.

Comments
Hurricane Michael: From atop bridges, those inside the destruction talk to the world

Hurricane Michael: From atop bridges, those inside the destruction talk to the world

PORT ST. JOE — Bridges span voids. Traditionally, the gaps are physical barriers, be it rivers, railroads or ravines.After Hurricane Michael, the bridges near Mexico Beach have become portals of sorts, the only place where communication is possible w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays’ Rocco Baldelli interviews with Rangers

Rays’ Rocco Baldelli interviews with Rangers

Interest in Rays coach Rocco Baldelli as a manager continues to grow, as he interviewed for another opening on Monday, this time with the Texas Rangers.Baldelli, 37, has also interviewed with the Reds, and reportedly with the Twins. The Angels and Bl...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Buccaneers AfterMath: The kicker problem and how to solve it

Buccaneers AfterMath: The kicker problem and how to solve it

On “Separation Sunday” in the NFL, it was gut-check time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They didn’t pass, dropping their third straight game.In a 34-29 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta, the defense struggled to get off the field on thi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Why the Bucs waited to fire Mike Smith

Why the Bucs waited to fire Mike Smith

TAMPA — Exactly two weeks ago, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter stood at the same podium following an embarrassing 48-10 loss at Chicago and asked this rhetorical question: "We fire Mike Smith. Okay, then what would the next move be?''Well, the Buc...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Judge throws out Stormy Daniels' lawsuit against Trump

Judge throws out Stormy Daniels' lawsuit against Trump

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit from adult film actress Stormy Daniels that claimed President Donald Trump defamed her when he suggested she had lied about being threatened to keep quiet about their relationship. Federal District Judge ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist Paul Allen dies at 65

Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist Paul Allen dies at 65

SEATTLE — Paul G. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates before becoming a billionaire philanthropist who invested in conservation, space travel and professional sports, died Monday. He was 65.He died in Seattle f...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Why the recycling industry is in the dumps

Why the recycling industry is in the dumps

ALBANY, N.Y. — A crash in the global market for recyclables is forcing communities across the United States to make hard choices about whether they can afford to keep recycling or should simply send all those bottles, cans and plastic containers to t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Microsoft co-founder Allen dies

Microsoft co-founder Allen dies

Paul Allen, the taciturn computer programmer who founded the software behemoth Microsoft with Bill Gates when he was 22 and walked away eight years later with what would become one of the largest fortunes in the history of American capitalism, died M...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Archaeologists find 'vampire burial' site of a child feared capable of rising from the dead

Archaeologists find 'vampire burial' site of a child feared capable of rising from the dead

Inside a miniature tomb, in the middle of what used to be a sprawling Roman villa, is the skeleton of a 10-year-old child who died more than 1,500 years ago. It is on its side, its mouth agape and stuffed with a limestone rock about the size of a big...
Updated: 5 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Terrel Ferrell and Mila Yarich

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Terrel Ferrell and Mila Yarich

Terrel Ferrell, BloomingdaleFor the first six games, Ferrell did not play at peak performance.The electrifying wideout had tweaked his ankle and pulled his groin.Ferrell said he took it easy the first half of the season as more of a precautionary mea...
Updated: 5 hours ago