Sunday, June 20, 2010
fees rise with credit card usage
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
PAYNE SPRINGSPayne Springs is now able to accept payments for citations via a credit or debit card.
In order to cover the costs involved, Tuesday the city council agreed to tack on $4 to the citation fee structure.
Police Chief Tim Meadows also briefed council members on a more efficient way to conduct police and court business by using the Cop-Sync computer system.
Eustace PD has been using the new software for about a month now, Meadows said.
The council was open to the presentation, because the current court software license is coming up for renewal.
The Cop-Sync system ties into the state database, so with the swipe of a drivers licence, the officer is instantly informed whether there are outstanding warrants.
The system also acts as a citation writer, providing a download for the court, negating the need for entering ticket information. Bypassing this step also significantly reduces mistakes.
Meadows liked the feature, which would allow him to see exactly where his officers are in real time, even clocking the speed with which they are traveling and pinpointing other law enforcement positions in the vicinity.
An officer can also use the system to research laws.
Using Cop-Sync will greatly reduce the time it takes to conduct a traffic stop and get back on patrol, Meadows said.
An officer can use it to type out reports, negating the need to spend time in the office. These reports can be downloaded to the police department on a drive-by through the departments router, Meadows explained.
It will track daily activity, call sheets, racial profiling, generate statistics and even track and schedule car maintenance, he added.
Councilwoman Linda Carr deduced from the presentation that the system could allow the city to postpone adding another officer, if it is able to keep officers on the streets more.
The cost to get started is around $12,000, Meadows reported, with $4,300 in annual fees. He also pointed out that since 2004, the city hasnt purchased any software for the police department.
Each officer using the system would also have to attend a 40-hour course, he added.
Meadows said he can set up a demonstration of Eustaces set-up for the city judge.
Lou (the court clerk) absolutely loves it, he said.
Much of Tuesdays meeting also discussed the flooding experienced to the homes of many inside the city, most of it due to the countys inability to maintain the bar ditches.
My house was on that suffered from flooding. We asked the county four years ago to work on those ditches, councilman Michael Juica said.
Councilman Michael McDonald read from a prepared statement of the shortcomings in the service the city has or hasnt received from Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney.
Payne Springs residents pay $200,000 a year to the county in property taxes, and all we get is unpacked fill in pot holes, and that with the city paying for the material, McDonald said.
Carr said she would meet with McKinney for an eye-to-eye meeting about the citys roadwork.
Wednesday, council members were to review repaving work on C.R. 2709 (a jig off Crawfish Ranch Road) done by Reneau Paving.
In a special meeting last week, the council awarded the work contract for $6,975, and said they were willing to award work on CR 2529 (Crawfish Ranch Road) for another $5,000 to the same company, if they liked what they saw.
In other business, council members:
agreed on placing a storage building on the citys impound lot up to a cost of $1,500.
assigned committees: Carr roads, Ida Zimmerer signs, Michael McDonald police and Nathan Gilbreath garage sales/businesses. Juica is focused on finishing the impound lot, for which he is reimbursed $245 for repairs to his tractor during the work.
agreed to a court collections test, using McDonalds personal credit card for one month. The test will reveal whether the courts could benefit by having a credit card for specific use.
Council hears how Mabank weathered heavy
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