CLAYTON — City council adopted an ordinance Thursday to maintain lighting assessment fees for areas of the city equipped with street lights.
“We have various lighting districts throughout the city,” said Kevin Schweitzer, director of finance. “Each individual lighting district was requested by the residents, so it’s based upon what type of pole and what type of light they have in each district. This pays for the equipment as well as the energy to operate the street lights each year. We are using the same rates as last year. The contract we have with Miami Valley Communications Council through DP&L has not been finalized for this year, so hopefully the rate won’t increase or we will have to pull money from the general fund to pay towards the end of the year.”
Assessments will be placed against each property in a lighting district in an equal amount determined by dividing the total cost per annual installment by the number of benefitted lots in each district.
Councilman Ken Henning asked how residents can go about creating a lighting district. Schweitzer said residents can come to the government center to pick up a petition to have neighbors sign it requesting the establishment of a lighting district.
“If there is an interest in a given area and the neighbors will support paying for it, then we can set up a lighting district,” Schweitzer said.
Mayor Joyce Deitering pointed out that residents must pay 100 percent of the cost for each district established.
Areas where there are higher costs for lighting districts include the Village of north Clayton and Wenger Village where the poles are more decorative. The city has retrofitted the decorative lights along Main Street with LED lights to see if there would be a cost savings. Decorative poles cost $6,000 each, which drives the cost up for each resident in areas where these type of poles are used.
“There is a committee through the Miami Valley Communications Council that is looking into more cost effective ways to replace decorative poles if they are damaged,” said City Manager Rick Rose. “These are all bid on contracts for replacement and it’s not quite as easy to make lights more energy efficient if the utility company has to come in and swap everything out inside the poles, so there are conversations going on with a lot of different organizations within the lighting district. As that progresses we will be able to do more with that.”
Clayton currently has 13 lighting districts: Allison, Ashbrook, Ashbrook II, Hilltop, Oak Hill, Portrait, Riverbend Estates, Old Village, Riverbend Phase II, Riverbend Phase III, Wenger Village Section One, Wenger Village Section Two, and the Village of North Clayton.