The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors gave the go-ahead for Cherokee County Attorney Ryan Kolpin to proceed with a license reinstatement program.
Kolpin appeared at the May 27 meeting of the supervisors to explain the proposed program.
Kolpin expects the program to have an initial cost to the county but will eventually recover part or all of the added expense. The first step has already been taken but full implementation will require hiring a full-time employee.
Currently, individuals who have licenses suspended as a result of traffic violations can become involved in a vicious cycle of not being able to afford the fines and fees, being caught driving while suspended and getting more fines and fees.
Under the program, someone with outstanding fines can have payments deducted directly from paychecks. After certain civil fees are paid off, the county can recover a certain percentage of the payments for administrative costs.
There are some restrictions and qualifications. The program cannot shorten a court-mandated suspension resulting from such criminal acts as OWI. An applicant must show proof of having liability insurance. Child support must be current.
Kolpin indicated that there is sufficient funding in the county attorney's budget to get the program started but a budget amendment might become necessary sometime during the next fiscal year.
The new employee of the county attorney's office would go beyond recovering delinquent traffic fines but also outstanding debts owed to the county. Kolpin acknowledged there are some debts that simply cannot be collected but efforts at collection should be made when it is practical to do so.
The supervisors accepted the lowest of four bids for grading work on 480th Street.
King Construction of Wall Lake had submitted the low bid of $127,462. The engineer's estimate for the project was $189,000.