Streetlight fee increase fades away


The clock was ticking to find a fix for the street light fund, at least for this year. 

“Tuesday was the drop dead date the tax commissioner needs the information so he can send out the tax bills on time,” said Traffic Engineer John Ussery.  

For months, city leaders have been debating plans for streetlight fees to cover the costs of operation, and to pay down the debt. But that means taxpayers would be paying more. Supporters say something needed to be done. 

“The citizens are going to be angry because it’s going to increase their costs and things like that. Let them be angry at one time than every year,” says Commissioner Dennis Williams. 

Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle had a new proposal of $90 dollars for residents, $110 for businesses. Guilfoyle said that would be fair because some property owners pay a lot more right now. 

“We got residents paying $423 dollars, the others $282, $296. It actually brings them down to $90 dollars.’’ said Commissioner Guilfoyle. 

But it needed a unanimous vote to get Guillfoyle’s proposal before commissioners to be voted on. However, Commissioner Sammie Sias objected because the proposal would require non profits to pay the fee. 

‘’I cannot and will not support half way doing it. We need to fix it and fix it so it will last for years.” said Commissioner Sias. 

“The only thing I could try to do is to help the situation. My colleagues objected, wanted to hear it, that’s up to them,” said Commissioner Guilfoyle. 

In the end, after a year of discussion, no street light fee increase was approved by commissioners. So rates stay the same this year.

Officials say streetlight fund shortfall will continue to grow to almost two million dollars next year. 

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