Not so fast

ROGERS – Village Council is delaying bringing traffic cameras to town until a proposed resolution can be reviewed by an attorney.

The decision to delay the project, agreed to at last week’s meeting, occurred just one month after council voted to enter into a contract with Optotraffic LLC, which manufactures and operates the machines that catch speeding motorists and other traffic offenders using laser-radar technology and cameras.

The contract, which can be canceled at any time, provided Optotraffic the authorization it needed to begin the two-month process of bringing the traffic-camera service to Rogers. Optotraffic representative Dorian Grubaugh attended last week’s meeting to say the next step is for council to adopt a resolution that gives the village the legal authorization for the company to cite motorists once the cameras are in place.

The resolution also requires the village to provide a 30-day public notification period in advance of the system going online, with signs being posted at the major intersections warning motorists. Grubaugh said they need the resolution in place to comply with the public-notification requirement if the system is to operational by June 1.

Village Fiscal Officer Dale Davis pointed out the resolution could not be passed as an emergency ordinance because only four of the five council members necessary to do so were present. Missing was Shelly Smith, and without five members present it would take three separate votes for the resolution to become law.

Davis also told council they should take it slow and not do anything until the resolution, and the contract for that matter, can be reviewed by an attorney.

“I know you really, really want to do this … but you really need a legal opinion before you do,” he said.

The village has been without a solicitor since January, when their previous legal adviser quit, and they have been unable to find a replacement.

To prevent any further delay, Councilman Michael Hunt suggested passing the resolution on first reading to keep the project moving forward and find an attorney to review the documents. He said they could hold a special meeting later this month to pass the resolution on second reading and then adopt it on third and final reading at its regular May 13 meeting.

Councilman Tom Chambers said he is in contact with an attorney who might be willing to serve as village solicitor. “I want to do this as a quickly as we can, but I also want to do it legally,” he said.

Grubaugh told council Optotraffic would not return until he hears they are prepared to adopt the resolution. “That’s why we had hope you would have consulted with an attorney by now,” he said.