NEW MIAMI, Ohio - The controversial speed cameras in New Miami are generating enough funds for the village that both residents and community leaders are noticing the difference.
The cameras have curbed speeding in the village and increased revenues to the point that village leaders say they're not sure how to spend it all.
Many residents of New Miami, however, are ambivalent about the cameras' presence in their community.
"They're nice to be there, but I also think they're speed traps," said one New Miami resident.
At the same time, those just passing through are more decisive, "I think it's a rip off," said another driver.
But no one denies the cameras are generating revenue for this cash-strapped village. More than $210,000 have flowed into New Miami's coffers from citations since the cameras were installed last fall.
Officials say the money will be aimed at improving the condition of the village. Some residents say they've seen a big difference in the way the village takes care of itself.
Police Chief Kenneth Cheek says some of the cash has already been spent on basic safety items they've never had such as police radios, shotguns and Taser guns.
Mayor Patti Haines said they paved the village hall parking lot, and purchased a used dump truck for spreading salt. The village is banking the rest of the money as officials ponder how to spend it.
Dan Dwyer, a New Miami resident who lives across the street from the town hall, has his own list of priorities.
"I think our first priority is street maintenance and stuff like that. If they're looking for revenue performance, anything cosmetic should be secondary," said Dwyer.
The village is planning a workshop in March to decide where their windfall should go. And whether it's roofs, roads, cameras or computers, the ethics of how New Miami comes by their new found funds seems to vary between the locals.
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