Fitchburg panel: Raise traffic fines
Posted in the Fitchburg Forum
Since: Feb 10
#1 Mar 12, 2014
FITCHBURG -- Fines for traffic violations in the city may get a little more expensive.
The City Council's Finance Committee on Tuesday night approved a $5 increase in traffic fines requested by Traffic Specialist Paul McNamara, making all civil moving violations in the city $55.
The increase won't go into effect until it is approved by the full council at its meeting next Tuesday.
According to Deputy Police Chief Phil Kearns, the increase was requested to bring city fines in line with those at the state level, which were recently increased by the same amount.
Council President Stephan Hay thanked the Police Department for reviewing its policies and coming before the council to request an update, as all city departments that charge fees are required to do annually by ordinance.
Also Tuesday night, a petition by Ward 1 Councilor Amy Green to mandate that $150,000 of certified free cash each year be set aside for the Board of Health's demolition fund was held in committee pending the crafting of a resolution on the matter to be handled during budget season this spring.
"The number of blighted properties is on the rise, and this affects property values of both the abutters and the neighborhood," Green said.
Green had intended her petition to help offset a dramatic reduction this year in federal Community Development Block Grant funding for demolition of dilapidated properties, but Finance Chairman Marcus DiNatale said the council is not legally able to mandate the use of free cash for particular purposes in the strong-mayor government in place in the city.
The council instead will work on a resolution to present to Mayor Lisa Wong to express how it would like to see the money spent in the future. CDBG demolition funding, which has in recent years hovered around $100,000, according to Department of Public Works Business Manager Larry Casassa, was scaled back to just under $30,000 this year.
Casassa said the city, however, has a balance of $140,000 from previous years' CDBG funding, as well as $83,000 currently in the Board of Health demolition fund, according to Public Health Director Stephen Curry, that will still allow the city to take down a substantial amount of blighted properties this year.
Follow Alana Melanson at facebook.com/alanasentinel or on Twitter @alanamelanson.
#2 Mar 12, 2014
So in short the city has the budget to maybe tear down and remove one building a year. It's cheaper to let 'Dirty mike and his homeless gang' have a crack party orgie inside and burn places down by accident. In reality it costs a heck of a lot more to tear a building down and remove it legally than it costs to build a new one.
#3 Mar 12, 2014
If you need your building burnt down ask Clark Straight he is a pro at doing this and not getting caught,
#4 Mar 12, 2014
The city will not tear down a building because all property is owned either by the owner or by the bank.
This money will utilized for emergency tear downs in case of a fire or a collapse of a building.
#5 Mar 12, 2014
Burn baby burn,isn't it fit and fun in fitchburg
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