State House panel OKs amended Bluff City speed camera bill

Hank Hayes • Mar 6, 2013 at 8:58 AM

State Rep. Timothy Hill’s legislation to put Bluff City’s two speed enforcement cameras out of business on Highway 11-E advanced in a House Transportation Subcommittee on Wednesday with an amendment.

That amendment, according to Hill, would allow Bluff City officials to complete the remaining year and a half of the town’s contract with the cameras’ private operator.

State Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, advised Hill that if other amendments are added to the bill when it reaches the House floor, the legislation would have to be sent back to the committee level.

“The intent of the legislation is to affect these two (Bluff City) cameras only,” Hill, R-Blountville, responded.

Bluff City aldermen had expressed public opposition to the bill, although Hill insisted he was getting positive constituent feedback.

Hill said he has talked with Vice Mayor Lon Gene Leonard about the legislation.

“I’ve been thinking about how we can make this as equitable as possible for Bluff City,” Hill said of those talks. “They have expressed concerns about revenue in various (news) articles. This (amendment) is really the best way I know how to allow them to finish with the current (traffic camera) contract.”

The state’s Fiscal Review Office projected Bluff City stands to lose more than $260,000 in annual revenue from traffic citations if the cameras no longer continue to operate.

Hill’s legislation now moves for consideration by the full House Transportation Committee. Its Senate sponsor is state Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains.

For more information, go to www.capitol.tn.gov. The bill’s number is HB 314.

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