Chapel Hill hires firm to catch scofflaws

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CHAPEL HILL -- Motorists passing through this northern Marshall County town won't be getting away with not paying traffic tickets anymore, not if the town's new contractor has anything to do with it.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen has authorized a contract for the town with a company called Solutia and it's supposed to find the scofflaws and make them an offer they might see as advantageous in the long run, according to discussion during this month's meeting of the board.

"People have left town on speeding tickets," City Manager Mike Hatten told the mayor and aldermen during the March 8 meeting when it came time to discuss Solutia's contract.

"They don't charge us" for the service of finding the scofflaws, Hatten explained. "They add on" to cover Solutia's costs and profit.

More than $10,000 is owed to the city in fines and costs, Hatten reported.

"I think we should go for it," Alderman Bucko Bryant replied. "It will make us some money."

Alderwoman Marion Joyce agreed, made the motion to hire Solutia and the vote was unanimous.

Other discussion that evening revealed:

* Construction of the Town Hall addition is nearing completion and Hatten holds some hope that the board could be meeting in the building on the second Monday night of April.

* The U.S. Census Bureau will be conducting a training session in the Police and Fire Building in late March so census takers will be ready for the nation's population count conducted every 10 years.

* Aldermen agreed that the town should assemble a delegation to go to Nashville to speak with Gov. Phil Bredesen about the prospect of the state closing the restaurant at Henry Horton State Park. Tennessee's Department of Environment and Conservation is spending more on the restaurant than it's receiving in revenue.

* The town will be having its employee uniforms serviced by another contractor because it will cost $5 less per employee each week. Floor mats at building entrances will cost less, too.