Board shuts off the lights in Crescent Mills

The street lights are going out in Crescent Mills. That was the final decision of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors at its regular meeting April 3. The Crescent Mills Lighting District cannot make up its yearly $2,100 deficit and pay its debts, so the board of supervisors, also the governing board for the lighting district, had to shut the street lights off.

The decision came as the result of the November 2017 election. The lighting district sought to receive a special parcel tax from the constituents within the lighting district. The tax increase would have been less than $4 a month, however, the proposed tax increase failed on the ballot.

“That is a cup of coffee,” said District 4 Supervisor Lori Simpson, expressing her disappointment in the failed measure.

The Crescent Mills Lighting District is a special district that generates its revenue directly from taxpayers, and does not operate through the general budget of the county. The district entails a dependent board, which means though it is legally separate from the county, the board of supervisors acts as the overseeing board.

County Engineer Bob Perreault serves as the general manager of the district and presented the lighting dilemma to the board.


After the tax increase failed, the district was left with few options. Since its inception, the district has never had an increase of revenue, but the cost of operation has continued to increase. There are 18 streetlights in the township, and only 110 taxable parcels to fund the lights.

“Having such a small number of taxable parcels results in an inability to sustain [the district] at its current revenue without plunging deeper into debt,” Perreault wrote in his statement to the board.

The lack of revenue, and restrictions and loan constraints left the district with the singular option of shutting off the lights to use the existing revenues to pay off the district’s debt. There is a possibility of the lights returning partially, after the debts are repaid, but that depends on the revenue stream.

“It is the people who ultimately made a vote to not have additional tax revenue and it is their decision that is driving this decision,” said Perreault.


One light at a county road and Highway 70/89 intersection may stay on because the public works department has requested it fall under Caltrans District 2 responsibility. However, everything else will go dark.

“So everyone can get a spotlight on their house if they want lights,” said Simpson. She also warned against a similar fate that may occur within the Quincy Lighting District, as there was a tax proposal that failed in that district as well.

9 thoughts on “Board shuts off the lights in Crescent Mills

  • Simpson is a rude, egotistical idiot.

  • No tear 1 jobs

    • Darn autocorrect

  • That’s okay, the Plumas County Tea Party and El Trumpo will come up with a solution… maybe tax marijuana sales/growing?

    • *like* ^^^

    • Sure thing pudding.

  • They voted and now they get what they wanted. Turn them all off. The darkness it seems so metaphoric.

  • “So everyone can get a spotlight on their house if they want lights.”
    This absurd statement reminds me of Queen Marie Antoinette and her similar statement in the 1700’s, “Let them eat cake”. Queen Marie had great disregard for the poor peasants who were starving. What a horrible utterance she made, with complete misunderstanding of the their situation.
    Our Board of Supervisors are elected to solve problems not exacerbate them.
    I spoke with the Public Works Department last week. They informed me it costs about $5,000 per month to have the streets of Quincy lighted. If our BOS can’t find the money, I will donate $500.
    I challenge each Supervisor to do the same. You can do better than threatening to turn off the lights!
    Ante up…

  • I guess I totally misunderstand and overestimate the main purpose of our esteemed BOS.
    Problem solving and keeping the constituents of the county safe and free of dangerous dark nights on our streets should be paramount. But instead the utterance we hear is, “So everyone can get a spotlight on their house if they want lights.
    What a laugh, what a cry, what a charade that statement is.
    “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” -“Let them eat cake. Marie Antoinette once said.
    Marie could have served on our BOS. Her quote reflects the same disregard as does the BOS towards
    the peasants of today.
    $5000 per month is the cost for lights on.
    I will donate $500 if each board member does the same.
    Ante up!
    I bet they find the necessary funds.

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