Weigh in on proposed street light fee at two public meetings

Two meetings are set for the public to comment on a proposed change in the way the City pays for the operation of thousands of street lights throughout Minneapolis.

Currently, the $3 million a year needed to keep the street lights on in the city comes from the general fund, which gets around 20 percent of its money from the State of Minnesota’s local government aid. However, because Governor Pawlenty recently cut $21.3 million from the aid the City of Minneapolis was slated to receive in 2010, City leaders are now looking for other ways to keep basic City services funded.

One option being considered is a street lighting operations fee for all property owners. This fee would be minimal, with the typical single-family property owner paying around $20 a year. Before any such fee can be assessed, the City's ordinance will need to be changed to allow such funding.

Two community meetings are being held for you to learn about that proposal:

Tuesday, July 14
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Farview Park, 621 29th Ave. N

Thursday, July 16
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Martin Luther King Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S

Residents can also call 311 or e-mail comments to streetlightfee@minneapolismn.gov.

The City operates and maintains approximately 17,000 street lights and 1,700 Parkway lights. It also contracts with Xcel Energy to operate and maintain an additional 28,000 wood pole street lights.

July 2, 2009

Published Jul. 2, 2009