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Townships encouraging new lighting districts
The night in the Westpoint Two area of Galloway will be brighter as Prairie Township approved a petition for a new lighting district there.
This adds to the existing 13 lighting districts in the township, that date back to the late 1980s.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the largest number in the county,” said Tracy Hatmaker, administrator for Prairie Township.
According to Hatmaker, residents submit petitions mostly during autumn, but the pattern is coincidence.
Timothy Guyton, trustee chair in Franklin Township, said they have no existing lighting districts. However, the Franklin Township trustees are making efforts to educate the residents about the benefits of street lights.
“I am hoping that will be changing as the word gets out of the opportunity to make their areas safer,” Guyton said.
Residents who request a lighting district must first define the area being lit. More than 50 percent of the residences in that area must sign a petition in favor of the street lights, then submit it to their township fiscal officer.
If approved after the reviewal process, Hatmaker said the fiscal officer works with an AEP engineer and neighborhood represenatives to determine the number of lights and wattage neccesary to light the area.
These variables decide the monthly cost per household in the lighting district. A district can consist of entire streets or a string of homes.
Guyton previously said the entire process could take up to three months.
Hatmaker said the monthly cost of the street lights will be added to a resident’s property taxes by the Franklin County Auditor. The electric bill is initially paid for by the township.
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