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Articles

City Lights May Go Dark

By Sondra Murphy

Like most of us, the city of Ojai has been dealing with increases in utility costs and they want public input on its lighting and landscaping challenges.

Ojai Public Works director Mike Culver presented reports on landscaping and lighting districts No. 1 and No. 3 Jan. 26. In it, Culver said the districts, “continue to show a substantial deficit in revenues vs. expenditures.”
After eliminating all non-essential maintenance services, Culver reported that street lighting is the only remaining means to reduce costs. The idea is tricky, however, due to the way in which lighting revenues are raised.
District No. 1 was created in the ‘30s under the provisions of the California Street Lighting Act of 1919 and re-established in 1988. These assessments provided about $50,000 in annual revenue for the cost of landscaping needs, including electricity and maintenance. When the revenues came up short in 2003-2004, District No. 3 was created in order to continue the established level of service.
“Costs continued to escalate over the next few years, prompting an election requesting a 40-percent increase in assessments during fiscal year 2006-2007,” Culver’s report cited. Voters rejected the assessment, 2-1.
Culver said this fiscal year’s budget for such needs is $169,874, while the revenues are only $97,582. One-third of that budget goes to the cost of lighting, while the remain

Ojai Public Works director Mike Culver presented reports on landscaping and lighting districts No. 1 and No. 3 Jan. 26. In it, Culver said the districts, “continue to show a substantial deficit in revenues vs. expenditures.” After eliminating all non-essential maintenance

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