WEEDSPORT - Backlogged tickets for Brutus town court could bring in serious cash as they are weeded out.
“The Town of Brutus court is the busiest in Cayuga County,” Justice Andrew Maltese said, reporting potential revenue of about $120,000 for the backlog at Monday night's town board meeting.
Maltese said 8,038 outstanding tickets from 1989 up to now had not been addressed by the state.
Although it was difficult to calculate, a ballpark minimum of $15 per ticket that the town court typically gets would put missing revenues in the thousands “sitting out in Oz,” he said.
“For many of these tickets, we get all of the fines,” Maltese said, but none of the surcharge, which goes to the state.
Comparing last year to this year, he said, the court closed 169 cases.
“The state says they can't close (on the outstanding tickets) because something was wrong,” he said.
With some backlog due to inaccuracies, such as misspelled names, he said when his office notified the state, many records appeared to be accurate and state officials couldn't explain why tickets on the list by mistake weren't processed.
Many local courts are having the same problem with the error list from Albany, Maltese said.
He asked the board to keep the position of the temporary court clerk that it created because the clerk has helped reduce the numbers backlogged and bring in money.
The town has budgeted for the temporary clerk for the rest of the year.
One board member said that if the cases go back as far as 1989, some of the offenders are probably dead.
“I want to get the live ones,” Maltese said.
With the construction going on in the area of the Thruway, he anticipates the volume of tickets isn't going to get any lighter.
Security issues were also raised about court night and how to handle them.
The court has a direct alarm to the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office, but whether or not an armed officer should be on duty was debated.
The board would have to address the issue of the job description as a police officer with a firearm or a constable.
Councilman David Miller suggested checking with other towns to see what the civil service description is.
In other news:
• The board will hold a brief special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday, April 26, to address a bond resolution for Water District No. 7 and a final order to establish the district to get paperwork submitted to Rural Development for its grant in a timely manner.
• The status of WeCare as a business in an agricultural area was raised and whether or not it is still hauling sludge and conforming to the law.
The town needs to determine whether it is still in agricultural production. The board agreed to refer the matter to the town attorney.
• Dan and Gwen Dolph go to the Zoning Board of Appeals next month about their subdivision not conforming to the required 120-foot frontage.
The planning board can't issue a permit if the frontage doesn't conform, but the ZBA can grant a variance if the Dolphs show it's part of their parcel.
• The town is also waiting to submit forms for proposed Water District No. 8 with more homes on Bibbens Road and East Brutus Street Road. Total costs increase, but individuals would pay less.
Staff writer Kathleen Barran can be reached at 253-5311 ext. 238 or firstname.lastname@example.org