Will the lights go out? Streetlights in Greenville, Taylorsville discussedAlicia Knadler
Indian Valley Editor
A proposal to shut off 19 streetlights in Taylorsville, Greenville and Canyon Dam will be up for action tonight, Wednesday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. Directors of the Indian Valley Community Services District will meet in the Indian Valley Civic Center, at 430 Main St. in Greenville.
The lights were designated nonessential, after meetings in February among directors, PG&E representatives and Fire Chief Jim Hamblin.
The issue of streetlights and how they are paid for has been on the district agenda many times in the past two or more decades, especially during those times when the county doesn’t want to contribute toward the $14,000 annual cost.
Such was the case last year, when directors were advised not to expect financial support from the county anymore.
For the past several years, the county has contributed about 25 percent of the costs.
The service districts and the county seem to have the same problem according to Public Works Assistant Engineer John Kolb.
“They cannot raise rates to pay for higher energy costs without placing the issue before voters in their district, a Proposition 281 requirement,” he said.lt;p> Services districts like in Indian Valley and East Quincy receive a lump sum of tax money from the county.
“How they choose to spend that money is entirely up to them,” he added.
The Indian Valley directors have chosen to spend most of their money on the fire and rescue department, with small portions allotted to other community services, such as the parks, pool and campground.
There have been talks of forming a countywide streetlight district and taking the matter to voters according to Kolb, but the consensus seems to be that such a move would be an expensive failure in the current economic and political climate.
Directors tried to recoup the money in 2005, by initiating a utility fee on the sewer bills of residents, but the fee was removed in 2007, in deference to Proposition 218, though they still believe their case in billing for the lights was a good one, according to director and finance committee member Jane Braxton Little.
Among the lights proposed to be shut off are five in Taylorsville, 12 in Greenville and two that are located outside the district boundaries, one in Mount Hough Estates and one in Canyon Dam.
The estimated annual savings of the action would be about $2,425.
Meanwhile, directors would continue to work with county supervisors toward a countywide streetlight district.
For those unable to make the meeting, a recording will be available via the district’s website and indianvalleycsd.com.
Visitors to the site can click on agendas and minutes, then on the March 2010 meeting agenda, and a link to the recording will be available at the bottom of the agenda, usually within a couple days of the meeting.