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SALT LAKE CITY -- Homeowners may soon have to pay to keep their street lights burning
In the summer of 2010, Salt Lake leaders decided to let some street lights burn out. If they stopped shining for any reason the city would not put them back on in order to save money in the city budget. That decision saved nearly half a million dollars.
"A couple of years ago when our general fund was tight," said City Council member Soren Simonsen, "we ended up having to forgo replacing some lights that were burned out or that were damaged or otherwise not functioning. And that's created a lot of concern."
For us to be able to walk on the streets, our own streets that we want to enjoy, and then they want to tax us for it as well to light it up, it makes no sense to me.
–Salt Lake City resident Sarah Hughes.
The policy could change, if Salt Lake City residents pay for it. Tuesday night, Salt Lake City Council members will discuss a new street lighting fee of $2.29 every month. The money would replace bulbs in hundreds of spots on "mid-block" areas.
That has some residents wondering why they should have to pay to be able see the street clearly at night, especially while on foot.
"For us to be able to walk on the streets, our own streets that we want to enjoy, and then they want to tax us for it as well to light it up, it makes no sense to me," said Salt Lake City resident Sarah Hughes.
Not all residents are as upset. The fee is small, and it may be worth it to some to keep the lights on.
"Honestly if it's just a small amount to get lights for the Sugarhouse area, I don't see a problem with it," said Matthew Hansen, another resident.
If approved, the street light fee would appear on homeowners' utility bills.