Streetlights in the Town of Tonawanda are owned and maintained by the Town. On your Town of Tonawanda property tax bill you will see a line item reflecting your property's streetlight tax and reflects your share of the cost to maintain the streetlights and pay for their energy use. New York State law determines the policies, while cities, towns and villages cover the cost by general tax levy.
Report a Street Light Concern
If you notice a street light that needs attention, you can use the Town of Tonawanda Streetlight Outage Reporting Form or contact Collin deGuehery of the Engineering Department at (716) 877-8805.
Two Types of Districts:
- Boulevard District – Includes all main thoroughfares in various areas of the town; costs are borne by all Town residents.
- Residential Districts – Costs are borne by districts. With the acceptance of the steps below by the area residents, comes the responsibility for the cost of the district – via property tax assessment.
To Form a Residential District or Change an Existing District:
- Primary resident contacts the Office of the Town Engineer to request streetlights in a specific area.
- Town Engineering staff will prepare a preliminary petition. That petition will be mailed out to residents. The residents may respond via physical mail or email. If greater than 66% of the owners are in favor of the project, then it will proceed to the next step.
- Town Engineering staff will do preliminary design and prepare cost estimates. A letter will be sent to the residents that will include their estimated tax impact ahead of the formal petition.
- Formal petition prepared by Town Engineering Staff and the Town Legal Department.
- Primary resident may accompany the Town Councilmember to circulate the formal petition to residents to observe taxpayer signatures.
- If the owners of properties totaling more than 50% of the assessed value are in favor, and sign the petition, then the project will proceed to the next step.
- Town Engineering staff will prepare and distribute a letter notifying the residents the results of the formal petition. If the residents are in favor of the lights, that letter will include the date that the Town Board will hold the public hearing.
- The Town Board then holds a Public Hearing. Residents are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions on the project.
- After the Public Hearing, the Town Board will then make the decision to proceed.
- If the Town Board decides to proceed, the Town Engineering department will obtain a design and prepare bidding documents.
- The Town Board will call for bids. Once they are returned, they will make a determination to award to low bidder or throw bids out if they greatly exceed the estimated budget.
If the proposal passes, a “Consolidated Lighting District” item is added to your property tax bill that represents yearly energy and maintenance expenses. An approximate tax rate is $1.78 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The town then proceeds to design and complete the project. The location of the streetlights to be installed will be determined at this stage.
For more information please contact the Engineering Department at (716) 877-8805