Cedar Rapids city council approves $1.5 million contract amendment

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The city of Cedar Rapids has amended its contract with a debt collection agency.

The city's contract amendment increases the payment amount from $500,000 to $2 million with Municipal Collections of America.

During the meeting, a financer said the city has collected $3.2 million with the debt collection agency, which is more than was originally anticipated.

The money was collected through over 35,000 citations.

Of the money collected, $1.6 million will go to the city for public safety, $106,000 will go to the administrative services with the state of Iowa for the state offset program, and $800,000 will go to the company that owns the cameras.

Some of the public safety measures the city plans on doing is partnering with the Cedar Rapids Community School District to bring a school resource officer to Metro, adding security cameras downtown, at Redmond Park, and at Green Square, adding portable vehicle barricades, and removable bollards.

The contract between the city and the Municipal Collections of America says automated traffic enforcement citations, inspection and permit fees, utilities, and other accounts will be handled through the agency once delinquent.

The contract began on September 1, 2017, and is set to end in 2020.

The city has used Iowa’s offset program to collect unpaid violations from traffic cameras. The offset program allows the state to withhold casino and lottery winnings, tax refunds, or other money to pay a debt.