Council postpones work at ponds

The Fairview City Council approved a proposed contract to install red-light cameras at busy intersections, making Fairview the second city in Multnomah County after Portland to use the technology.

In a 5-2 vote at its Wednesday, Sept. 7, meeting, the council directed City Administrator Joe Gall to enter into a contract with Phoenix, Ariz.-based Redflex Traffic Systems, which will be responsible for installing and maintaining the red-light cameras and equipment.

Redflex has contracts with a few Oregon cities including Beaverton, Sherwood and Tualatin.

Citing safety concerns, Mayor Mike Weatherby and councilors Larry Cooper, Dan Kreamier, Barb Jones and Steve Owen supported the measure. Weatherby said Fairview police will be responsible for reviewing the film and that if traffic violations are not a problem, then no tickets will be issued.

On the opposing side, councilors Ken Quinby and Lisa Barton Mullins said they weren't convinced that the red-light cameras were needed or effective at deterring traffic violations.

Under the proposed contract, each intersection with Redflex equipment will have a separate three-year term that begins after the first citation is issued. Afterward, the city has the right to extend the term for each intersection up to five one-year terms. The city also can terminate the contract with Redflex with or without cause, or if voters approve an initiative to do away with the cameras.

It's unknown how much money the citations from the red-light cameras will bring to the city.

The city will pay Redflex depending on how many traffic citations are paid each month, starting at $60 per paid citation for the first 50 paid citations each month. Afterward the fees decrease per 50 citations, ending at $25 per paid citation for 151 paid citations or more per month.

Gall said the first red-light camera would be installed at Fairview Parkway and Halsey Street by December 2011 or January 2012, depending on the permitting process. Warnings will be issued to traffic violators during the first 30 days of operation, Gall said.

City staff will then see how well the red-light cameras work and go from there, he said.

Other city business discussed

In other news, the City Council decided to postpone renovation work at Salish Ponds Wetland Park after neighbors raised concerns about how excessive fishing might affect the pond's shoreline, which has already been degraded over the years through human use.

The first phase of the renovation includes designating up to 23 or 25 spots along the lake for fishing; native plants would be planted in between each fishing spot to help restore the shoreline and reduce erosion. Gall said city staff will work with neighbors to address their concerns.

The city is also working with the Multnomah County Drainage District and property owners along Fairview Lake to test a weed harvester that will cut down on the extensive weeds in the lake, which is popular with boaters and swimmers.

Neighbors tested the device at the lake Thursday and Friday, Sept. 8-9.

Fairview Police Chief Ken Johnson presented a service award to Officer Jim Keyser, who has served with Fairview police for 25 years.

Keyser was the city's first part-time detective and has served various roles, including working to get more than $100,000 in grants for police equipment, Johnson said.

The City Council also officially adopted the city logo and city seal, which city staff recently trademarked with the U.S. Copyright Office to protect them from prohibited use.

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