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Manatee County to discontinue talks on red-light camera program

MANATEE -- The Manatee County Commission today decided to discontinue negotiations with a company it had hired to install automatic cameras that are designed to catch red-light runners.

The commission also agreed to table further action on the issue until the conclusion next spring of the 2012 legislative session.

The county had contracted with a Fairfax, Va. company, which installed three of the cameras and has almost completed construction of a fourth.

But the enforcement system never went into operation, officials said.

Last year, state legislators changed the law governing operation of redlight camera systems across the state.

County officials said they have been unable to negotiate a contract amendment or a new agreement with their vendor, ACS State & Local Solutions, Inc., that would reflect changes necessitated by the new state law, according to County Attorney Tedd N. Williams, Jr.

The company is asking for more than $603,0344.38 in costs it says it has incurred, but county officials say they are not responsible for the costs or the delay in implementing the red light enforcement program, county documents said.

The high-tech cameras, which work in concert with the traffic signal, take photographs of drivers running red lights.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031.

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