Citing concern for safety, the Clinton committee of the whole approved a contract with Security Equipment, Inc. to purchase and install safety cameras on the bike path. However, the measure, which will be considered at the next city council meeting, was not approved without discussion.
At Large Councilman Mark Vulich opposed spending money to put any additional structures on the levee, as a recent survey by the Army Corps of Engineers deemed most of the pre-existing structures to be encroachments. This ultimately led to an unacceptable rating, and could affect the city’s insurance if the situation is not resolved.
“Before we go ahead and put the cameras on the levee we need to get our status with the Corps figured out,” Vulich said.
The contract would award SEI $50,000 for the cameras. Vulich said that the city could spend the money on the cameras, only to be told they had to be taken down.
At Large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf said the safety of those using the path had to be the primary concern for the city. She said residents have expressed support for the cameras, which, in addition to helping prosecute criminals, could also be a preventative measure.
Police Chief Brian Guy said that it was not for his department to determine whether the cameras should be purchased, but did acknowledge that they would assist the department in monitoring the area.
“It’s a good area to use,” Guy said of the bike path as it is now, “but at the same time, it could be a better area with the equipment there.”
Guy added that it was his understanding that the officers would be able to access the feed from the monitors from several locations, including police vehicles.
The measure was passed in the city council meeting, with Vulich opposing.