SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Police Department brought in traffic fines totaling $18,836.45 for the period of September and October, with most of them generated in September, it was reported at Springfield Town Council's November meeting.
“We have had a problem with speeding in Springfield for a long time … . We’ve finally got enough officers to slow the traffic down," Mayor Ed Furtick said in an interview following the meeting. "In the past, we have not had enough officers spending time to slow the traffic down.”
In the past couple of months, the town hired Police Chief Brian H. Gray and four new officers.
Furtick said some of the fines collected in September and October were actually from traffic tickets issued prior to the September-October reporting period.
“We sometimes get calls from people who have had tickets easily as far back at 2010 or even 2007," the mayor said. "Some of the deposits of the fees reflect those.”
During the November meeting, Furtick reported the police department had paid back all of the money it borrowed from the town's general fund in September. The department spent $5,871 for non-salary expenses in September for gear for the new officers and other equipment.
“When we hired these officers, we had to take money out of the general fund. When the revenue from tickets came in, we reimbursed the general fund," the mayor noted.
Furtick also reported the town had to take $7,000 from its water and sewer fund in October and place it in the general fund. He said the water and sewer fund would be repaid, adding the town doesn't plan to make a habit of borrowing from the fund.
“The water system generates a profit. In the general account in these small towns, the only income we have is property taxes and business licenses. The general fund does not have a steady revenue,” Furtick said. "The general fund has constant expenses. Luckily, we are able to take from the profit of the water system."
Furtick reported that a deadline had not been established for receiving bids on the sale of a town-owned building at 381 Barnwell St. when council discussed the matter at its September meeting. “We did not set a cut-off for bids to come in when we announced this,” he said.
The deadline for bids is Dec. 31, Furtick announced.
The minimum bid for the property will be $1,500, the mayor had said earlier.
In other business:
- Sylvia Hiers, chair of the Springfield School Restoration and Use Board, announced a Thanksgiving ecumenical service will be held at the school at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, with Emmanuel Church in charge of the program.
- During public comments, Al Jenkins, regional director for U.S. Sen. Tim Scott's office, invited council members, veterans and other residents to contact him about any concerns and needs they may have.