Deal approved to bring red-light cameras to unincorporated Manatee County

MANATEE -- The Manatee County Commission today unanimously OK’d a revised agreement calling for installation of red-light cameras in unincorporated areas.

The high-tech cameras work in conjunction with a traffic signal, photographing violators in an intersection after the light has changed to red.

"It's a great feeling" to know that, after eight years of lobbying for red-light cameras, Manatee County has finally embraced them, said Melissa Wandall, a local woman whose husband, Mark, was killed in a 2003 traffic accident by a red-light runner.

The county agreed to pay $4,650 per month for up to 12 camera systems, and $4,475 for additional camera systems to Xerox State & Local Solutions, formerly ACS State & Local Solutions, according to the contract agreement.

The county will also pay the company $30,000 for prior expenses, it said.

The deal calls for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office to supply deputies to review videos of violators, and to issue citations when necessary. The county would reimburse the sheriff $5,501.53 a month for those services, the agreement said.

Three cameras already in the ground would begin operation Saturday, but violators would get warning notices only, according to Karen Windon, deputy county administrator.

After Oct. 15, violators would pay $158 per incident, she said.

“The cost to the taxpayer is revenue-neutral,” she said. “At the end of any calendar year, if there were still balances outstanding, those would be negated by the company.”

The city of Bradenton has had a similar arrangement with the same company since its seven-camera system began operation in 2009.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@Sarawrites.