New Miami mayor says lawsuit will likely come of new speed camera rules, but not from the village

New Miami Police Officer Mark Bennett uses their Lidar photo laser speed enforcement camera along US 127 Wednesday, Nov. 30 in New Miami. A court hearing regarding the old freestanding speed cameras previously used by New Miami is scheduled for Dec. 1. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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New Miami Police Officer Mark Bennett uses their Lidar photo laser speed enforcement camera along US 127 Wednesday, Nov. 30 in New Miami. A court hearing regarding the old freestanding speed cameras previously used by New Miami is scheduled for Dec. 1. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

With a final version of the two-year state transportation bill awaiting the governor’s signature, New Miami Mayor Bob Henley said he is not worried about the provision that could impact the village’s speed camera program.

The transportation budget bill would, among other things, mandate that jurisdictions report to the state how much they collect in traffic camera ticket revenue. The state would then deduct that amount from state funding that goes to cities.

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Henley said he is unconcerned about the potential loss of local government funds.

“I don’t really understand it because they’ve cut the small governments so much in the last few years anyway,” Henley said. “They send us hardly any money at all anymore. So big deal.”

Henley said if the law takes effect in July, he knows the issue will go to court again — with the big cities filing the lawsuits — so the village will let the “big people fight it out.”

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has vowed to take the legislature to court again over this.

“We already won this battle in the Supreme Court. Let us not have the same fight again,” Whaley said. “We will sue again. We will win again.”

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Since the village re-booted its speed camera program in 2016, it collected $783,969 through June of last year from the speed cameras.

The village had $270,099 in net revenue from the cameras in 2018, and it received $52,448 in local government funds.

The tiny, cash strapped village is still clenched in litigation with about 3,300 speeders over the original pole-mounted speed cameras that were deemed unconstitutional in 2014. A judge has decided the village must repay the speeders an estimated $3.2 million.

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