Red light cameras no longer are in Longview, but revenue from them is funding new equipment for the police department.
On Thursday, the City Council is set to authorize using money from its photo enforcement fund to buy mobile radios and equipment for the police department.
Also, residential property on Jaycee Drive could become part of the Maude Cobb Convention Center and Longview Fairgrounds activity complex. The council is being asked to allocate $110,000 to buy the 0.2994-acre residential tract.
The purchases are on the consent agenda when council members meet at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Cameras were used at intersections to catch red-light runners in Longview for nearly a decade until 2016, when the city ended its contract with Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems. At that time, offenders were charged about $100 for each red light ticket.
The city dedicated its share of the ticket revenue to a photo enforcement fund, which still has about $343,000, city spokesman Shawn Hara said.
Police Chief Mike Bishop and Purchasing Manager Jaye Latch are asking council members to approve using $51,270 from that fund to buy 15 new mobile radios plus radios for police patrol vehicles.
The property at 1113 Jaycee Drive includes a nearly 1,300-square-foot house and a 273-square-foot garage, all built in 1953, according to the Gregg Appraisal District, which valued the property at $66,400. It has been owned by Pablo Jose Albuja Silverio of Longview since June 2016.
Silverio’s property is surrounded by about 4 acres that the city acquired almost two years ago. Hara said the city bought the acreage, which included three homes, when they became available for sale.
Buying Silverio’s lot will allow the city to extend the convention complex property more directly to Jaycee Drive, he said.
“There isn’t a specific project identified yet for this site currently, but it will allow for the future development of the overall complex long-term,” Hara said.
In other matters, the council will consider awarding a $91,600 contract with the Henry and Peters accounting firm to audit the city’s 2018-19 financial records. Henry and Peters was among three firms that responded to the city’s request for qualifications and was found to be “the most qualified firm,” according to City Finance Director Angela Coen.
Council members also will consider a tax abatement agreement with Lebanon-based Indevco Plastics, which is embarking on an expansion of jobs and investment at its manufacturing plant on Jordan Valley Road.
Under the agreement, Indevco must increase from 59 jobs this year to 71 jobs next year and maintain at least 76 full-time jobs from 2021 through 2029. Indevco also must invest at least $4 million in construction and outfitting at its plant this year, $3 million in 2020 and another $2.5 million in 2021.
In exchange, the company will have 100 percent of its taxes abated through 2029.