Additional Information on Street Lights

Residential Lighting Districts
Historically, residential lighting districts have been in operation since 1928 in District 1 (Old Towne). Over the years, districts were added as new areas were developed and population grew. As development took place, several large developers created area lighting districts which covered broad areas and lighting was put in place when actual building took place. This simplified the installation of the street lighting program as opposed to a large number of small districts, some only one block in size, petitioned by area property owners.

Formation of Districts
Districts were formed only when owners petitioned the service and agreed to accept the cost. In the case of the developer, the developer initiated requests. It was simple since at the time there was a single owner of the larger tracts. Otherwise the initiation came from property owners of the specific areas, assisted by the town, to approve or disapprove the lighting district creation. A minimum of a 51% majority of the assessed value of parcels in the proposed district must be made.

New and Consolidated Districts
Since the 1980s some new districts were formed, and the same number rejected, mostly because of the costs assessed on an ad valorem base. Also, since the 1980s, a number of districts were consolidated to ease the administrative burden and cost - groupings were based on similar tax rates. At the same time a renovation program was undertaken by the town with National Grid (formerly Niagara Mohawk) to upgrade the quality of lighting and reduce energy costs by using high-pressure sodium luminaries.

Consolidated Townwide Residential Lighting District
As a result of these innovative programs we were able to conclude the plan to combine all but one residential district into a consolidated townwide residential lighting district. This was approved through public information sessions and ultimately approved at a public hearing on October 25, 1999. The result was a single tax rate per $1,000 townwide, which actually reduced the cost for a vast majority of town residents.

Types of lighting systems include:

  1. General Highway (Boulevard) District – This district includes all main thoroughfares in various areas of the town such as Sheridan Drive, Colvin Boulevard, Delaware Avenue, Military Avenue, Niagara Falls Boulevard and the like. Street light costs are borne by all town residents.
  2. Kenilworth - This residential district is bounded by Niagara Falls Boulevard, Kenmore Avenue, Montrose Avenue and Chalmers Avenue.
  3. Consolidated Districts – Formerly 114 residential districts, except Kenilworth, these were merged in 1999. Streetlight costs are borne by each district.