ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The use of red light cameras in the city of Albany was supposed to generate millions of dollars to help close the city’s budget deficit, but now leaders think the slow process could be putting the brakes on that projection.
“As every day passes, that’s thousands and thousands of dollars supposedly more that the city’s missing out on,” Albany Common Council member Judd Krasher said.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan budgeted $2 million of revenue for the city with the hope of having 20 red light cameras to enforce traffic violations for an entire year.
“The measurement that we were given – this $2 million revenue figure – came from a lobbyist; a company for red light cameras – American Traffic Solutions,” Krasher said. “That in and of itself I was skeptical of.”
On Tuesday, five companies submitted proposals to the Albany Police Department for installation. The police department is in charge of reviewing the bids and making a selection.
But without an exact timetable for a decision, city officials like Krasher are concerned how they are going to work within the budget.
“I wasn’t a fan of including the $2 million figure in the budget for this very reason,” he said. “I was not optimistic that we could get red light cameras up and running by January 1.”
Krasher admits he’s not a fan of red light cameras. He said time is running out, and the city is now at the realization it will be difficult to generate the revenue from the cameras they had intended for 2015.
“The problem is every single dollar is going to count in this budget, and if we don’t get this $2 million figure, we gotta figure out where it’s coming from,” Krasher said.
Mayor Sheehan said she is also concerned the city won’t get the money it budgeted for, but Krasher said if that’s the case, he hopes the city doesn’t rush but takes the time to choose the right vendor.