County officials say they will exercise a one-year renewal of a contract with its current speed camera vendor rather than rebid the contract.
ACS State and Local Solutions leases 15 cameras to the county at a cost of nearly $12,000 per camera per month.
Ellen Kobler, a county spokeswoman, said Thursday that the one-year contract was set to expire on Feb. 9 but that the county has decided to exercise an option to renew for one year.
The announcement of the decision to renew came just days before the County Council is set to vote on a bill that would allow a nearly unlimited number of cameras in school zones across the county.
The bill, sponsored by Tom Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat, and three others is expected to pass.
Council members have been the focus of efforts to limit and expand the program.
A conservative wrote articles and published a Youtube video to pressure council Republicans to vote against Quirk's bill.
A grassroots group based in Towson has received assistance from a politically connected political strategy firm that helped push supporters to e-mail council members.
Under the terms of the current contract, ACS State and Local Solutions has been paid nearly $1 million of the more than $1.1 million — about 81 cents of every dollar in fines collected by Baltimore County.
The contract, as approved by the council, was never bid out. Instead, the county piggybacked off an existing contract with Montgomery County with ACS State and Local Solutions.
Several on the council had expressed concern about the terms of the current contract.
Quirk, the lead sponsor of the bill to expand speed camera enforcement, declined to comment on the amount of money paid to ACS State and Local Solutions but said the contract "is something the council should take a look at."
"Is it appropriate? It's certainly something we should take a look at," said Quirk.
Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, a Democrat from Oliver Beach and co-sponsor on the bill to expand the program, said last week that she was "disappointed" to learn that the contract would be renewed rather than rebid.
Councilman David Marks, a Perry Hall Republican, also said he would like to see the contract brought back before the council.
"There are a lot of new council members and I think we should have a chance to review it," Marks said. "Maybe, in the end, ACS is the most qualified for this, but I think we should take a look."