Monday, October 14, 2013
For a number of years, the city has partnered with individual homeowners to install additional streetlights in cooperating neighborhoods (usually block by block). I recently talked with an Avenues resident who brought up an interesting issue. The city no longer maintains these added streetlights. He, a retiree, has taken on himself the task of replacing bulbs, repairing light sensors, and even testing downward reflectors to reduce atmospheric light pollution. He does this for several, but not certainly not all, blocks in the Aves.
Which brings up the question... since the city now charges homeowners a streetlight fee on their water bills (essentially a property tax increase), why isn't the city now maintaining these streetlights? Why does it fall to individuals to do the maintenance (hauling ladders around, contributing new bulbs)? And what happens if this gentleman falls off the ladder one day (he's not getting any younger)? Are there liability issues? Anyway, if homeowners are paying a new fee, I think there's every expectation that these supplemental streetlights should be maintained by city crews.