Last year thousands started paying new street light fees in Augusta, but city leaders say the job isn’t over.
“It wasn’t what we actually needed it was something put together rather swiftly to appease some people,“ says Commissioner Dennis Williams.
Last year the city set a fix street light fee for residents at 85 dollars, but there are 15 thousand property owners who live on streets without lights who are not billed at all.
So one proposal is to begin charging these property owners about 50 dollars a year.
Should the commission charge people?
No, no they shouldn’t if they don’t have street lights they shouldn’t be charged,“ said Albert Mills.
But city leaders say everybody is taking advantage of the street lights on the main roads
“Even if you live in an area that does not have lighting in your immediate neighborhood if you drive down Broad Street or Washington Road or Peach Orchard Road you are benefiting from the presence of the lights,“ says City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson.
The new proposals also generate money to go beyond just covering the costs of keeping the lights on
“Ideally what we would like to do is be able to generate enough money to add streetlights as needed and maintain them.
“We don’t need to expand anything until we can pay for what we have that is my stance on that until we can figure out a way to fund what we currently have we not even need to have the conversation,“ says Commissioner Brandon Garrett
Last year Commissioners bumped up right up to the deadline in September to get the new streetlight fees on the tax bills, this year finance officials are getting an earlier start to try to avoid another crunch.
A sub-committee is being formed to work on the streetlight proposals.