As expected, the city council of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, approved a threefold increase in its contract with Municipal Collections of America, largely because the program to collect on unpaid traffic tickets, inspection and permit fees, utilities, and other accounts has been more successful than anticipated.
The original contract was for $500,000 when it was signed last September, but the city council approved an amendment last night that raised the amount to $2 million.
So far, more than $3.2 million has been collected, thanks to a state offset program which allows for lottery and casino winnings, tax refunds, and other state-based forms of income to be withheld and used to pay unpaid fines and debts.
The city is planning on using the additional funds to install security cameras in high-traffic areas, purchase and install other security measures, and hire a school resource officer. The city is planning on spending $1.6 million of the additional money that has been collected on improving public safety.