Indian Valley streetlights are still on?Alicia Knadler
Several streetlights were still on in Indian Valley and Canyon Dam, and charges were still appearing on bills more than four months after the shut-off order was given.
Indian Valley Community Services directors received that information during their regular meeting Wednesday, Aug. 11.
Directors voted in March to shut off 19 streetlights, including five in Taylorsville, 12 in Greenville and two located outside the district boundaries, one in Mount Hough Estates and one in Canyon Dam.
The lights were designated nonessential, after meetings in February between district directors, Pacific Gas and Electric representatives and Fire Chief Jim Hamblin.
The issue of streetlights and how they are paid for has been on the district agenda many times in the past two or more decades, especially during those times when the county doesn’t want to contribute toward the $14,000 annual cost.
Such was the case last year, when directors were advised not to expect financial support from the county anymore.
For the past several years, the county has contributed about 25 percent of the costs.
The service districts and the county seem to have the same problem according to Public Works Assistant Engineer John Kolb, who attended that March meeting.
“They cannot raise rates to pay for higher energy costs without placing the issue before voters in their district, a Proposition 281 requirement,” he said.
Services districts like in Indian Valley and East Quincy receive a lump sum of tax money from the county.
“How they choose to spend that money is entirely up to them,” Kolb added.
The Indian Valley directors have chosen to spend most of their money on the fire and rescue department, with small portions allotted to other community services, such as the parks, pool and campground.
There have been talks about forming a countywide street lighting district and taking the matter to voters, according to Kolb, but the consensus seems to be that such a move would be an expensive failure in the current economic and political climate.
Meanwhile, the lights remained on, even after the shut-off order was given in April, according to district general manager Leanna Moore, and the district was still being billed for them.
Director and Finance Committee Chairman Mike Yost thought PG&E people were being irresponsible, though the matter was cleared up about two weeks later.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a request like this before,” said PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno.
There were supposedly procedures to follow, something vague and more complicated than just turning lights of at the switch.
Whatever that was, it was figured out quickly and the district will receive a credit on its bill Moreno said.
Barring special meetings, directors of the Indian Valley Community Services District meet the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Indian Valley Civic Center at 430 Main St. in Greenville.
For more information, those interested may call 284-7224.