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Yuba-Sutter park-and-rides to install cameras

Thieves, vandals and more garden-variety miscreants are on notice if they are planning some misdeeds in a Yuba-Sutter Transit park-and-ride lot: Someone soon will be watching.

After approval by the transit board on Thursday, bids will start coming over the next three months for installing cameras at up to three lots to catch or deter vehicle break-ins and other crimes.

Transit manager Keith Martin said vandalism in the three lots is more sporadic than consistent, but still enough of a problem.

"We've been working and trying to identify a basic technological approach to put video cameras on light poles in the middle of nowhere," Martin said at the meeting, explaining early discussions with technology companies discovered it is not as easy as mounting a camera and plugging it in.

In some cases, the light poles are not receiving electricity the entire day, or there is no wiring to relay the data, he said. Instead, the cameras will probably send their data wirelessly, though that will also effect the cost.

Yuba-Sutter Transit has about $139,000 for the security systems, money obtained through state Proposition 1B funds. Ideally, a vendor could provide systems for all three lots:

• McGowan Parkway and Highway 70 in Olivehurst;

• Feather River Boulevard and Highway 70 in Plumas Lake; and

• Highway 99 and Bogue Road in Yuba City.

Transit board member Craig Starkey asked what would happen if bids were higher than what Martin's office has to spend.

"Are we prioritizing two of these lots of the three?" Starkey asked.

Martin said there was a hierarchy, but he believed the amount would be enough for all three lots.

The cameras would be motion activated and would record data to be stored for a limited time, Martin said. How many hours they are active will depend on the bids, but most of the problems in the lots come during the day, he said.

As well, Martin told the board, the ongoing costs of the cameras will be need to be determined. Martin said before the meeting, there is the possibility the cameras could become targets for theft or vandalism.

CONTACT Ben van der Meer at bvandermeer@appealdemocrat.com or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.


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