Council approves administrative finesWORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council on Monday night approved a resolution that will authorize the Worthington Police Department to continue issuing administrative citations for those traffic offenses authorized by the Minnesota Legislature.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council on Monday night approved a resolution that will authorize the Worthington Police Department to continue issuing administrative citations for those traffic offenses authorized by the Minnesota Legislature.
A recent Legislative decision that eliminated the department’s ability to charge traffic offenses under a local administrative fine ordinance has already reduced the department’s revenues, reported Director of Public Safety Mike Cumiskey.
“You budget a certain amount of revenue for this program each and every year. Under the new system, what do you see that revenue number doing?” questioned councilman Lyle TenHaken.
“This wouldn’t allow us to do the same amount of tickets,” answered Cumiskey.
“It would be less tickets, less revenue per ticket, so that’s another piece of revenue that’s going to be substantially reduced as we do the budget in the upcoming year,” responded TenHaken.
Cumiskey said the department had collected about $32,000 in administrative fines by this time last year, but the statute change “pretty much put a damper on things,” and only $22,000 in fines have been collected so far this year.
The police needed the council’s approval to use the state’s authorized process for use of administrative fines for traffic offenses.
“I don’t know how much we’ll actually use the state’s process. But I look at it this way: If you’re gonna go golfing your going to have all your clubs in your bag. This is just one more tool to utilize out in the field,” explained Cumiskey.
The state process limits the fine amounts to $60 for specified offenses, with $20 being funneled back to the state and another $20 being earmarked for unspecified “law enforcement purposes.”
In a partially related decision, council members also authorized a resolution establishing the offenses and fine amounts for Worthington’s Administrative Fine Program.
“We still have the ability to use our (local) ordinance for parking and for any traffic offense which is not a state traffic offense, like exhibition driving,” explained Cumiskey. “One is under our ordinance and one is under state law. There’d actually be two processes for administrative fines.”
In other business, the council:
- Approved a request for funding from the Southwest Initiative Foundation for $7,500.
- Approved a second reading of the proposed ordinance to rezone the land for Morning View First Addition, located on eastern Cecilee Street, from transitional zone to medium density residential.
- Amended a request for placement of an irrigation system through city property in Sunset Bay.
- Set the date for a hearing about improvements to Morning View First Addition and Castlewood Drive for 7 p.m. Sept. 14, at City Hall.
- Awarded a contract for the 2009 storm sewer improvements project to Larson Crane of Worthington; Awarded a contract for the 2009 bituminous overlays project to Central Specialties; and awarded the quote for sodding work at Sailboard Beach to Worthington Excavating.
- Learned the city had received a grant of $250,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for construction of a 24-unit housing project through the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership.