On Aug. 4, the Redflex Holdings cameras at three busy Morristown intersections – along with cameras on Highway 25-E and Highway 160 – which take photos that can result in speeding tickets, will be taken out of service, city officials say.
The Morristown City Council agreed to modify the contract with Redflex to eliminate camera-related speeding citations at the intersection of West Andrew Johnson Highway and Morris Boulevard; WAJ and Air Park Boulevard; and East Andrew Johnson Highway and Haun Drive.
The Redflex cameras posted at busy intersections inside the city limits will continue to snap images of motorists who run red lights, and citations could follow.
Camera-related revenue flowing to city government dropped precipitously when reconstruction of Highway 25-E between the Walmart-dominated Crockett Square shopping center and Walters State Community College eliminated the red light there. When those cameras went away, city officials chose to put speeding cameras on the two state thoroughfares.
At one point shortly after the cameras went live, city government was on track to make approximately $2 million a year. Redflex’s cut would have been about $1.25 million, city officials said at the time.
Councilmembers are contemplating relocating the Redflex cameras on Highways 25-E and Highway 160 to the intersection of West Andrew Johnson Highway and Merchants Greene Boulevard. It will be up to councilmembers whether the cameras will generate citations only for running red lights, or if speeding laws will be enforced through camera images.
In more substantive business on Tuesday, councilmembers voted to annex 18.5 acres off Thompson Creek Road for a large duplex and apartment complex. Lead developer Mitch Cox, a Johnson City businessman, initially proposed building the rental units on vacant land across Highway 25-E from Walters State Community College.
A snag arose when the developers proposed allowing a left turn from the site into the southbound lanes of Highway 25-E. While the issue has yet to be conclusively resolved, the chances for the left turn appear to be dimming, according to Steve Neilson, Morristown planning director.
If the left turn from the proposed development is disallowed, motorists wanting to travel south on Highway 25-E would have to travel a substantial distance north before making a U-turn, a solution the developers do not favor.
In other business on Tuesday, councilmembers unanimously appointed Morristown real estate broker Paul LeBel to the Morristown Regional Airport Commission. LeBel will fill the two-year unexpired term of the late Louis “Doe” Jarvis.