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Company to help Salem collect fines

Wednesday, April 3, 2002

A private company that can help the city and the county collect outstanding fines totaling about $175,000 recently met with Salem Police Chief Albert Roork, Fulton Sheriff Lloyd Martz and District Judge Jim Short, Roork told city council members at their meeting March 28.

The collectors of the private company would attend court and set payments for defendants who have been convicted of crimes but have not paid their fines. Roork said the collectors have a good method of locating those with outstanding debts. He said the collectors charge an initial fee of $20 and about $25 each month to those in debt to the city or county. Neither the city nor the county is responsible for paying any fees, Roork said.

The collectors will be responsible for preparing all paperwork, making phone calls and preparing reports. They are comparable to a bonding company, Roork explained.

Mayor Gary Clayton said, "This could be a fairly effective way of handling these things."

The 2001 city audit has been completed. Auditors from Hughes, Welch and Milligan made recommendations for the district court clerk to keep duplicate time payment cards, Judge Short said.

In other business the new Salem Welcome Center is shaping up with donated labor from chamber members and citizens who have volunteered their time to refurbish the interior.

Ordinance 175 was approved authorizing Salem Cablevision to renew its 15-year contract with the city.

The council reviewed applications for a pool manager and recommended hiring the former pool manager.



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